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Beer Industry Not Hurt By Cannabis Legalization, Suggests New Research

It’s not a matter of bud over brews in several U.S. states where cannabis is legal, according to new research.

Analysts from investment firm Bernstein have found that cannabis legalization has not hampered beer sales, squashing fears that legal marijuana would inevitably lead to the decline of the brewing industry.

“At first sight, one would regard marijuana and alcohol in general as clear rivals and that every extra dollar spent on weed meant a dollar less on booze,” reads the research, conducted by 10 analysts.

They found the opposite to be true, even seeing a rise in beer consumption in certain states where cannabis is legal.

In states where medical marijuana is legal, beer consumption was down 0.6 percent in the three years leading up to legalization, but it rose 0.1 percent in the three years after.

“Our analysis indicates that the legalisation of medical marijuana had a positive impact on beer volume trends,” said researchers, adding that the findings indicate that “beer and weed are complements rather than substitutes.”

“One does not need to look far into popular culture to see that beer and weed cultures can be highly complementary."

In states where cannabis is legal for recreational purposes, the picture is a little fuzzier, but still researchers found no indication that beer was being substituted for cannabis.

Bernstein wrote that these surprising results could have something to do with the fact that cannabis consumers have more disposable income to spend on beer, thanks to a reduction in the price of cannabis per gram following legalization.

“This would imply that previous users of marijuana now have more disposable income to spend on either more booze or more weed.”

h/t The Guardian


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