Although some believe the legalization of marijuana in a growing number of states is drastically cutting into the profits of the brewing industry, a new report finds this claim is mostly false.
According to market analysis firm Bernstein, the talk over legal weed crippling the American beer market is not exactly accurate. In fact, the report published last week suggests the legalization of medical marijuana is more than likely helping brewers sell more beer.
The market research, published under the title “Weekend Consumer Blast: Beer & Weed Revisited,” shows that while beer sales may diminish somewhat after a state launches a legal marijuana market, the two substances eventually come into their own, with beer sales making an increase within three years after legalization takes effect.
“At first sight, one would regard marijuana and alcohol in general as clear rivals and that every extra dollar spent on weed meant a dollar less on booze,” the report reads. “Our analysis indicates that the legalization of medical marijuana had a positive impact on beer volume trends.”
Bernstein’s findings suggest that, “beer and weed are complements rather than substitutes.”
Interestingly, the report goes on to say that the craft brewing industry will likely see the most benefit from the legalization of marijuana. This is because the two markets are relatively similar – catering to a large majority of the same customers.
“Many industry observers point to the similarities of the craft beer and cannabis cultures and feel that legalizing weed could help craft beer grow sales while eating into the larger brewers’ market share,” the report reads. “It isn’t surprising that the states with the highest share of craft beers also tend to be the more liberal states, where recreational or medical marijuana is likely already legal.”
In the end, Bernstein said that it is highly unlikely that legal weed will be forced into a war with the brewing industry. In fact, the analysis predicts the two markets “can be highly complementary.”
Other findings suggest that the fast food industry is another sector that stands to reap the benefits of legalization. Specifically calling out Domino’s Pizza, Chipotle, Pizza Hut/Taco Bell, and salty snack producer Frito Lay, the report predicts these businesses could see an increase in profits as more states continue to make weed legal.