Report: Legal Cannabis Is Eating Into Alcohol Sales

Research analysts at Cowen Equity Research say that legal cannabis sales in the U.S. have started eating into the sales of beer, wine, and liquor.

Full story after the jump.

Analysts at Cowen Equity Research report that legal cannabis sales in the U.S. have begun to eat into the sales of beer, wine, and liquor although the alcohol industry is far from being crippled, according to a MarketWatch report.

The researchers said they referenced about 20 years of government surveys and spending data, and an analysis of more than 8 million survey responses, including results from Nielsen and the Cowen Consumer Survey, to investigate the effects of cannabis on alcohol purchases.

Cowen Equity Research analyst Vivien Azer said in the report that the cannabis industry’s near-term impact on alcohol sales is mostly manageable but Azer noted the legal cannabis market has now grown to about 10% the size of the alcohol market — that’s a five-fold increase from the 2% of the alcohol market that cannabis amounted to just five years ago.

“Cannabis should gain [four times] the number of consumers as alcohol [will gain] over the next five years … as younger consumers also take longer breaks from alcohol.” — Azer, via MarketWatch

Cowen Equity Research’s own survey also revealed that 60% of cannabis consumers report having cut back on their alcohol consumption.

Research from the Journal of Adolescent Health published earlier this year found that the 2012 legalization of adult-use cannabis in Washington did not lead to increased alcohol and cigarette use in the Evergreen State.


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