Laurin Rinder/Shutterstock.com

In Berkeley, of course. And the woman behind it is pretty cool.

An ordained minister and one-time Catholic-school principal hopes to provide an unusual new service for the senior citizens of Berkeley, California: a cannabis dispensary exclusively for them.

Tuesday night, Sue Taylor advanced to round four of Berkeley City Council’s rigorous selection process for new dispensaries. Besides supplying medical marijuana and marijuana-based products such as edibles, Taylor hopes to offer a host of health classes and clinics aimed specifically at the 65-and-over set.

As she tells East Bay Express in a podcast interview, it’s been a long, strange trip to becoming the would-be owner of the world’s first seniors-only pot shop.

Seven years ago, Taylor dreamed of one day opening a wellness center—offering yoga, acupuncture, and meditation classes for seniors. It was her son who suggested funding her dream by opening a dispensary.

Though the suggestion was at first shocking, Taylor began to research the medical benefits of marijuana. After watching an old friend die a painful death from cancer, she started working at a major dispensary as a senior-outreach specialist. Besides easing cancer symptoms, marijuana seemed to help older patients deal with chronic pain, arthritis, sleeplessness, and nauseajust some of the problems related to aging that cannabis has been shown to relieve.

“I cannot walk away from the healing I’d seen from seniors,” she says on the podcast. “Time and time again people come to me and say, ‘I’m no longer on the pharmaceutical drugs. I’m just doing cannabis now.’”

Taylor is now state-certified to educate health professionals about medical marijuana. She advocates for legalization in California and has fallen in love with medicated rubs and tinctures. An African-American woman and senior herself, Taylor writes on her personal website that she obliterates the stereotype of a legalization advocate.”

As Taylor works to open her dispensary, she’s likely to find plenty of demand: In recent years, federal surveys have shown rising numbers of marijuana users over 50. And as an instant-classic viral video taught us all, older folks can also still have a really silly good time with the stuff.

Top image: Laurin Rinder/Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  2. A photo of a visitor posing for a photo with Elvis in downtown Nashville
    Perspective

    Cities: Don’t Fall in the Branding Trap

    From Instagram stunts to Edison bulbs, why do so many cities’ marketing plans try to convince people that they’re exactly like somewhere else?

  3. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  4. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  5. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.