For many working in the alcohol industry the impending legalization of marijuana was viewed as a potential threat. Many people in the industry feared that people would lose interest in booze as soon as they could get their hands on some legal pot – which may have seemed like a legitimate fear that the time, but evidence is proving that they were far off.
The truth is, legal marijuana has actually boosted alcohol sales, the numbers don’t lie! (Even if it’s only a little bit!) In Colorado legal cannabis sales continue to go up in tax revenue since its legalization – but the breweries have been seeing a surprise boost in sales as well! While it may be a surprise to some, for others, it was expected.
Two Different Communities – that just happen to coexist
In most cases, people tend to lean more one way or the other. There is a large number of people in the US who drink alcohol regularly – there is also a large number of people who smoke weed regularly.
The difference? That’s simple – the stoners were in hiding before. They bought from the black-market (drug dealers) or friends, since there was no other way to go about it. Most of these people already made the decision to smoke exclusively and not partake in drinking.
There was already a community of smokers and there was already a community of drinkers. Sometimes, these two coexist. Sometimes someone who prefers to toke up with drink up and sometimes those who prefer to get tipsy will get baked instead. It’s that simple.
Now that there is a legal market, it should be no surprise that the attention was not taken away from alcohol sales. After all, most of the people who partake in one recreational vice or the other already had this lifestyle prior to legalization of marijuana.
So Why Would Alcohol Sales Go Up?
It may not make much sense when you are thinking about the two as a separate community – but there is still that number of people who regularly take part in both of these vices. With marijuana being such a tourist attraction, it was bound to generate a few extra sales for alcohol along the way.
Since there is nowhere (other than some hotels and B&B’s) where visitors can enjoy their legally bought cannabis, people are still likely to frequent bars, clubs and restaurants during their visit. If only a couple out of every five people visiting Colorado or Oregon for marijuana decides to have a drink while they are visiting, there is bound to be a visible boost in sales.
So Everyone Was Worried for Nothing?
The truth is, yes. That’s all it boils down to. Alcohol companies saw something that could potentially hurt them – but never stopped to consider how this may actually benefit them. Now there is a different outlook as things settle in and the two industries are finding it easy to benefit off of one another time and time again.