For more than 80 years, alcohol trade in the United States has enjoyed no competition whatsoever, not in any real way. This monopoly on citizen impairment is how it became the $223 billion dollar industry we find today. However, now that more states in the country have legalized marijuana than not, alcohol profits are slipping and booze slingers are finally sitting up and taking notice.
The situation for those pushing alcohol is likely to get much worse when the federal government decides to listen to the people and legalize marijuana at the national level. Some experts predict that this may happen in just three years or so. The consensus among economic analysts is that if alcohol producers fail to reconnect with consumers, they will lose out massively the moment weed goes legal in all 50 states.
According to the latest study released by RaboResearch, it is increasingly clear that “women and older, wealthier individuals” would be more than willing to ditch the bottle and try legal cannabis once the federal government finally unbans it. Almost everyone is certain that pot will win easily. The company had a few words to say about this.
The firm believes that while this demographic of society may appear apprehensive about toking the doobie at the state level, particularly when one considers the dangers still involved with regards to job security and other factors, all of these worries are about to go up in smoke the second Uncle Sam decides finally to join the fray.
Joints for Bottles
In fact, there is a strong likelihood that this demographic, which is folks earning more than $50,000 a year, will become the cannabis industry’s biggest patrons. The alcohol industry will have to contend with yet another snag once legal weed becomes part of everyday American life: Trying to figure out how to sell high calorie alcohol to consumers that are increasingly conscious of their health.
Although the younger crowd is not particularly concerned about the fact that consuming alcohol can increase waist size significantly, everybody else is, particularly those in their 40s and beyond, who are acutely aware of it every time they peer into a mirror. For this reason, low-calorie beers have enjoyed a newfound surge in sales across the nation.
Currently, alcohol producers are scrambling to do everything they possibly can to stock their shelves with bottles consumers actually want, particularly for those doing whatever possible to maintain a healthier lifestyle. However, this will never be a problem for marijuana sales. Weed is gluten-free. It contains no calories whatsoever.
Furthermore, being stoned on cannabis does not eat away at the brain or tax the kidneys and liver. In fact, it improves brain health and optimizes organ function. By all accounts, alcohol has little chance. Pot is already the new alternative for people who enjoy the buzz, just without the bulge. Yet, according to researchers, the pot industry will need to put some effort into driving this concept home.
As the report itself reads, “The success of marijuana’s appeal to the health-conscious consumer, however, is based on the assumption that marijuana companies will market their brands as healthy, ‘lifestyle’ products, highlighting marijuana’s health-related advantages over alcohol.” To be honest, pot has many of those benefits going for it, whereas alcohol has virtually none.
Marijuana Shop Online or Bottle Store?
More and more, those in the alcohol industry are beginning to understand and accept the fact that they are going to have to share their profits with weed retailers. Instead of resisting the inevitable, some of these businesses are innovating and manufacturing their own cannabis products. Already people are buying weed in droves, mostly online, and fewer are trickling out of bottle stores.
Constellation Brands, which is the world’s third biggest brewer, is at this moment in Canada trying to breathe life into a line of beverages infused with THC. In the United States, the creator of Blue Moon for the Coors Brewing Company is about to launch his own non-alcoholic beer, but with a potent THC punch. Winemakers are launching similar efforts in the other parts of the country, as well.
In fact, the Cannabiz Consumer Group already predicts that pot-infused drinks will become the next hottest trend in the United States. This sector of the legal weed industry stands to generate around $15 billion all on its own in annual revenues. Health-conscious consumers, conspiring with those folks who do not want to smoke pot, are the ones who will make this a reality. Guaranteed.
It is not too much of a stretch to reason that if major alcohol producers are not currently scheming up new ideas to counteract the presence of a legal cannabis marketplace, they stand to suffer a substantial blow over the next few years. Some may even go under. Federal lawmakers, such as Rep. Earl Blumenauer, predict that the upcoming election will influence debate on legalizing weed nationally.
More people will find a marijuana delivery online than visit a bottle store in the near future. “There is no doubt in my mind that the next Congress will accelerate our progress to reform cannabis laws on the national level,” Blumenauer said. “Because of the work of advocates and the strong support of voters, progress is inevitable, and the 2018 election will prove it.”