We hope Jose Cuervo and Johnny Walker have been saving for a rainy day, because it might start pouring down in a couple of years, pouring weed that is. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has released a report projecting that cannabis sales will overtake those of hard alcohol by 2020, according to The Globe and the Mail. Marijuana sales are expected to become competitive with wine sales by that same year.
“We believe that by 2020, the legal market for adult-use cannabis will approach reach C$6.5-billion in retail sales,” the CIBC reported. “For context, this is greater than the amount of spirits sold in this country … as part of the shadow economy becomes legitimate business, we estimate private firms will generate near $1-billion in EBITDA [Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization.”
The fortune told by that big Canuck bank is already a reality in at least one are of the United States. In Aspen, Colorado, cannabis outstripped alcohol in sales in 2017. And that’s not even including the black market. According to The Independent, while folks in Aspen spent $10.5 million on booze in 2017, their cannabis spending edged that out with $11.3 million.
Colorado went weed-legal in 2014, so it only took three years for the new kid on the block to show up alcohol in a city which, you may remember, it is said that the “beer flows like wine.” Cannabis is the fastest growing retail sector in Aspen, according to sales reports.
And that same change may be a-coming to the rest of North America soon. A study from Georgia State University found that alcohol sales had dropped 15% in U.S. states which had legalized medical marijuana. What, people don’t like to crossfade no more?