An article on the impact of increased cannabis consumption on the alcoholic beverage industry in USA [Jules Scully, Fastmoving, Feb 26th 2019] makes the point that as cannabis acceptance and consumption grows, the risk to alcohol beverages is likely to increase. The US cannabis industry has surged in recent years – ten states have now approved adult recreational use of cannabis products and 34 states have approved cannabis for medicinal purposes.
“Dualists” are an apt descriptor for people that consume both cannabis and alcohol, and Scully points out that around 45% of dualists are Millennials.BDS Analytics adds another insight: up to 40% of adults 21 and over consume cannabis in states where it’s legal.
That’s likely to be a wake up stat for alcohol companies who are trying to maintain or grow sales in this demographic.
However, another recent study provides a different point of view: the Distilled Spirits Council reports that in a study of the 3 US states that have legalised cannabis the longest, spirits sales have not been negatively impacted. I’m a little sceptical of cause and effect here.
So which of the two viewpoints should we go with? For me, it seems very likely that Cannabis will take share of throat from Alcohol as it goes mainstream. Consider the prospect that common usage of cannabis is likely to result in greater acceptance, resulting in ever growing usage. The thing to come to grips with though, is the propensity to choose cannabis over alcohol, and the occasions where it is likely to happen.