Although some analysts have warned that the ongoing legalization of recreational pot could impact the alcohol biz, one study is mixed as to its impact…Basically its good news for the spirits sector…less so for beer.
According to a study by the Distilled Spirits Council, sales of distilled spirits have not been impacted at all in the three US states where recreational cannabis has been legal for the longest period.
In an effort to fight what David Ozgo, the DSC’s chief economist, referred to as “a lot of misinformation” about the impact of recreational cannabis on the wider alcohol market, the organization’s study analyzed per capita alcohol sales in Colorado, Washington state and Oregon for the two years prior to cannabis legalization, and then up to 3-4 years after the laws were passed in each state.
“Simply put, the data show there has been no impact on spirits sales from recreational marijuana legalization, “Ozgo, added.
Per capita spirits sales increased from 3.6% to 7.6% in all three states since legalization came into effect.
Colorado saw the highest increase in spirit sales at 7.6%, while in Washington the rate was 5.4%, and 3.6% in Oregon.
However, the study also found that per capita beer sales had declined between 2.3% and 3.6% in every state, a decline that Ozgo emphasized was in keeping with the overall drop in beer sales across the US and “not isolated to just those states that have legalized marijuana sales.”
When it came to cannabis’ impact on wine sales the data was mixed… Colorado’s wine sales rose by 3.2%, while Oregon rose by just 0.7%. Washington State fell by -3.1% during the same period.
As the Drinks Business reported “9 US states and Washington DC have legalized recreational cannabis. Medical marijuana is legal in another 30 states.”
And with cannabis’ progressive legalization on a state level, a number of drinks firms such as Keith Villa’s Ceria are devolving beverages infused with the drug.
According to a 2018 report on the growing cannabis category published jointly by two of the sector’s research firms, Arcview and BDS Analytics, edibles sales, which includes drinks, are on track to generate more than $4.1 billion by 2022.