Distilled spirits sales have not been negatively impacted in the three US states that have legalised recreational cannabis the longest, according to a new study by the Distilled Spirits Council.
The analysis examined per capita alcohol sales in Colorado, Washington state and Oregon for the two years prior to recreational marijuana legalisation and up to three to four years post-legalisation.
It revealed that since recreational cannabis was legalised, spirits sales grew in Colorado by 7.6%, in Washington state by 5.4% and in Oregon by 3.6%.
According to the data, per capita beer sales declined by between -2.3% and -3.6% in the three states, but the Distilled Spirits Council noted that this fall is consistent with nationwide trends in the US.
Distilled Spirits Council chief economist David Ozgo said: “Simply put, the data show there has been no impact on spirits sales from recreational marijuana legalisation.
“We now have four years of retail recreational marijuana sales history in Colorado and Washington state, and three years in Oregon, and each of these markets remain robust for spirits sales.” Ozgo noted that overall alcohol sales mirror national trends and there is no pattern of declining spirits sales in any of the markets analysed.
“We did this study because there is a lot of misinformation circulating about the impact of recreational marijuana legalisation on distilled spirits and the wider alcohol market,” he said.
Currently, ten states and the District of Columbia have legalised recreational cannabis, while around ten more are reportedly considering the move.
After Canada legalised marijuana last year, a number of major alcohol firms have made moves into the high-growth sector.
Constellation Brands invested CAD 5 billion ($4 billion) in Canopy Growth Corporation, taking its overall holding in the supplier of medicinal marijuana up to 38%, while Molson Coors Canada announced a partnership with Canadian cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corporation.
Last month, AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, joined forces with cannabis producer Tilray to research marijuana-infused beverages. The companies said the partnership is limited to Canada and decisions regarding the commercialisation of the non-alcoholic beverages will be made in the future.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019