Cannacurious seniors board the magic bus

Pot, pain management and free lunch: We roll along with the re-launched senior shuttle between an O.C. retirement community and a Santa Ana dispensary

The number of seniors using cannabis is trending upward. According to the most recently published National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data, an estimated 6% of U.S. adults 65 or older — that’s more than 3.3 million people — reported using cannabis over the prior year.

While the NSDUH cautions against making year-over-year comparisons using this survey data (because it covers a period in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic), a comparison to a decade earlier shows that’s up from just .5% in 2002 — significantly more of the graying population is turning to the green.

In an effort to put some faces behind those statistics, the “Green Room” decided to ride along with the Senior Shuttle — a monthly field trip that ferries older folks (at no charge) from Laguna Woods Village retirement community in Orange County to the Farmacy dispensary in Santa Ana where they’re treated to a free lunch, cannabis education seminars and brand presentations and a healthy discount at checkout.

Between the program’s launch in 2017 and its nearly three-year pandemic pause in early 2020, some 1,400 seniors got on the magic bus. When the program re-launched in mid-September of 2022, we got on board with a couple dozen retirees and started asking questions. The result is the next installment of “The Green Room” (and the last of one of this calendar year).

Anyone interested in learning more about the program (the next Senior Shuttle is scheduled to roll on January 17, 2023) can either check the dispensary’s event listings tab at or email the program’s organizer at (Note: The re-launched program has expanded to include local seniors who aren’t residents of Laguna Woods and prefer to meet the bus at the dispensary at the appointed time.)

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