More Americans are swapping hops for pot, new research has found.
About one in four Americans are turning out their pockets for cannabis rather than beer, according to a survey conducted by Cannabiz Consumer Group with 40,000 Americans. That works out to about 27 percent of beer consumers who are legally buying cannabis instead of beer, or who indicated they would if it were legalized in their corner of the country.
Roughly 24.6 million Americans purchased legal cannabis in the U.S. last year, and the study predicts that number will continue to balloon. While the U.S. beer market sells over $100-billion in brews every year (according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association), the organization foresees a $50-billion cannabis industry in the future.
Researchers also predict that if cannabis were legalized nationwide, the beer industry could lose more than $2-billion in retail sales. The cannabis industry could take over seven percent of the beer industry’s market, they believe.
While some studies have echoed this claim – research firm Cowen & Company reporting in 2016 that cannabis legalization in Colorado, Oregon and Washington contributed to a decline in beer sales in those states – others have suggested that cannabis legalization hasn’t hampered beer sales at all.
Earlier this year, for example, analysts from investment firm Bernstein found that beer consumption actually rose 0.1 percent in the years following cannabis legalization in certain states.
It will likely take a few more years – and more widespread cannabis legalization – to determine whether beer and bud are friends or foes. Until then, we’re happy to provide our judging services.