The booze business bigwigs are shaking, and it’s not from alcohol withdrawal. The IWSR, a leading global source of alcohol market data which gathers information from more than 150 years, says that cannabis is one of the biggest threats to the industry.
The big problem, according to a report from IWSR and BDS Analytics, is cross-fading. More people, they say, are becoming users of both cannabis and booze. In the past, apparently, more people tended to use one or the other. In the words of Fortune, which reported the story, the fear is that this “could cut into long-term loyalty efforts by beverage makers, especially those in the beer and spirits fields.”
“Our research shows that up to 40% of adults 21 and over consume cannabis in states where it’s legal,” said Jessica Lukas, vice-president at BDS Analytics. “Cannabis presents substantial opportunities across consumer industries, including new occasions that alcohol cannot and will not play. Consumers will continue to look to cannabis products over alcohol for occasions when they are feeling creative, need to get motivated, or seeking health, medical or wellness benefits.”
For several years now, alcohol consumption in the United States has been on the decline. Meanwhile, weed keeps getting more and more legal.
But weed getting big is not all bad news for distillers, fermenters, and brewers. The IWSR also notes in another report that “Legal cannabis presents substantial opportunities across consumer industries—new occasions that alcohol cannot and will not play, new and different product forms, pairing opportunities, new consumers, and more.”
Many in the alcohol industry have heeded that advice and decided that if they can’t beat the budtenders they might as well join them. Last year giganto craft beer manufacturer Lagunitas released a THC beverage, and Budweiser has made headlines for its partnership with Canadian cannabis company Tilray. Our hunch is that there will probably always be enough people who like to get fucked up to go around.
Photo via Flickr user sittered