Five seniors are spending their retirement years ensuring that the cannabis plants used for medical marijuana are well tended to in a small rural community.
They call themselves the Old Lady Clippers and up to three times a week they don protective suits and set to work clipping and trimming cannabis plants being grown at Acreage Pharms in Peers, Alberta. The facility is the Canadian province’s second-largest licensed producer of medicinal cannabis.
It’s not what retiree Linda Moman expected to be doing, but she said life can get boring in the “golden years”.
“When you’re retired, the four walls in your house get boring after a while and this is something to do,” she told CBC News. “I really enjoy working with young people and it’s a sense of community here.”
“My son says, ‘I’m never eating your brownies again,’ and my daughter-in-law calls me a pot farmer. It’s all in fun,” she added.
Peers is an agricultural town with a population of 98. Brenda Dixon, co-founder of Acreage Pharms says that the women are all highly qualified, despite their different backgrounds. “We’ve been successful in attracting very qualified people, but these ladies are in themselves very highly qualified in another sort of non-traditional sense. They know the land, they know the people, they know what they’re doing. And they’ve got a work ethic that comes from the farming background.”
As for the ladies, they love the camaraderie and the chance to contribute to their local community.
Betty-Lou Gray, a retiree who used to work at a bank says that working again has helped her feel less lonesome. “I was very happy to come [get] involved because … the facility which means a lot to the people in Peers, and it’s done a lot to make us all feel really important. So we’re very proud.”