Legal cannabis predicted to hit alcohol sales

19th December, 2017 by Owen Bellwood

The legalisation of cannabis in Canada next year is expected to hit alcohol sales, according to analysts at Euromonitor, who warn that the “dangers of a cannibalising effect are very real”.

The legal marijuana industry could hit alcohol sales hard

Cannabis will become legal in Canada next summer and the country’s industry, worth US$0.04 billion in 2015, is estimated to become an US$8 billion business by 2020.

Meanwhile, south of the border, the legal marijuana market in the USA could be worth US$16 billion in 2020 if the drug were to become legal across the country.

However, experts from Euromonitor International have warned that the increase in cannabis sales could hit alcohol purchases; they warn that “the dangers of a cannibalising effect on the sales of alcohol are very real” with sales of beer most likely to be the hardest hit.

On the other hand, the company noted that premium cannabis strains have the same appeal as ‘artisanal’ spirits, and these producers could bridge the gap between the two industries through hybrid products and collaborations.

Cooperation between the cannabis and alcohol industry could become vital as edible methods of consuming the drug, which includes infused drinks, have seen a compound annual growth rate of 21.2% since 2015 in the USA.

Cannabis-infused drinks producers have previously unveiled a range of drinks which they hope to launch in Canada, once the drug becomes legal in July next year.

Alcohol producers are also keen to jump on the bandwagon, Casa Noble Tequila maker Constellation Brands recently acquired a stake in cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corporation.

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