Since more and more states in the U.S are legalizing marijuana, the beer industry is maintaining close tabs on the marijuana industry for fear of being pushed out of the markets. The beer industry is right in doing so because the marijuana industry plan is to replace alcohol with safer and healthier alternatives.
Beer is already competing in the market against wine and liquor, and with the legalization of adult-use marijuana in some states in the U.S. and others planning to approve the marijuana reform, the competition is bound even to get stiffer.
Although marijuana sales have been on an upward trajectory, they are being repressed by beer. Annually, beer sales are more than $101 billion. Marijuana sales in 2014 were $2.7 billion, which is a 74% increase from 2013. According to Nomura, sales are estimated to rise to $10.8 billion.
Nomura analyst attended the Beer Industry Summit, which was held in New Orleans reported that the major talking points during the summit focused on marijuana. They also predicted that marijuana would steal some of the buzzes from the beer industry.
The analysts further said that they had collected more data before concluding people are substituting beer for marijuana. The data will also show people’s beliefs on the healthy aspects of cannabis and beer. However, people are still making a case for marijuana.
Taylor West of the National Cannabis Industry Association said that if people are replacing alcohol with marijuana, it is a net positive for public health.
It will be good news for the cannabis industry if West’s sentiments are proved to be true. Evidence showing the health benefits would be a plus in making a case for legalization. However, it may take several years before the beer industry has to worry about people skipping beer to burn a joint.
“Taking a look at the size of the marijuana and beer industry, it will take a while before marijuana can replace beer in the market,” said West.