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Cannabis legalisation ‘reduces binge drinking’

Binge drinking rates dropped more in US states where cannabis is legal than in states where the drug is outlawed, according to research compiled by  analyst Financial Buzz.

“The majority” of the 55 million recreational marijuana users in the US are millennials

Citing research from investment firm Cowen & Co, research company Grand View Research and a consumer poll, the report found that binge drinking in US states that legalised the drug has dropped 9% below the national average. Excessive drinking in states with a legal cannabis market is also 11% lower than states where cannabis remains illegal.

While the study found that alcohol consumption rates in the US fell up to 2016, the report said it is “reasonable to assume that as more states continue to legalise adult-use cannabis, alcohol binge-drinking rates will continue to falter.”

FinancialBuzz also found that “the majority” of the 55 million recreational marijuana users in the US are millennials.

The analyst also said that the global legal marijuana market is expected to reach US$66.3 billion by the end of 2025. In addition, its report investigated cannabis use in Canada, where 18% of people aged 15 years and older reported using the drug in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 14% who reported using cannabis during the same period in 2018.

Earlier this year, the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis and BDS Analytics published a study stating that cannabis legalisation presents a “long-term risk” to the alcohol industry in the US. It said that the risk to alcohol “is expected to expand as cannabis acceptance and consumption grows, particularly among beer and spirits drinkers”.

Research published in the Informs journal Marketing Science found that the alcohol industry “may need creative strategies to avoid market decline” if recreational cannabis use is legalised across the US.

According to previous research, sales of cannabis-based drinks in the US are forecast to break the billion-dollar mark by 2023.

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