A new study reported in the Washington Post shows that legal marijuana sales are a key factor in reducing sales of alcohol:
“Alcoholic beverage sales fell by 15 percent following the introduction of medical marijuana laws in a number of states.”
Down the road, when this phenomenon is confirmed after legalization in enacted in a number of states (particularly California) the questions will be 1) which types of alcohol tend to be most impacted by a switch to cannabis use, 2) which price point for wine is most impacted, and 3) what is the demographic characteristics of those who will substitute cannabis for wine?
Many in the wine industry and particularly those in the cannabis industry here in California have claimed that cannabis will “compliment” wine use and have little or no impact on wine sales. This notion is close to being entirely debunked.
Meanwhile, we continue to see conferences and seminars addressing the question of how cannabis and wine can work together to co-promote through events and tourism. From a strictly business perspective, I can’t see why wine would want to lend its greater prestige to cannabis by working with the industry to help them promote their goods as it will only lead to a reduction in wine sales.
As cannabis makes greater and greater inroads into wine’s market share, wine will have to do a better job of promoting the cultural and historical aspects of wine that cannabis simply can’t match. Additionally, wine will need to make the point that wine is, unlike cannabis, about much more than just getting high.
By Tom Wark
December 4, 2017
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