Despite growing concerns over cannabis creeping into U.S. alcohol sales, at least one study says those reports are blowing smoke.
The Distilled Spirits Council, a national trade association representing the liquor industry, conducted a study that found the three states where recreational marijuana has been legal the longest — Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — have not been impacted. Instead, spirits sales increased slightly in those three states, and beer and wine “stayed on their mixed to negative course,” CNBC reports.
Analyzing per-capita alcohol sales in those states, the study found that sales of spirits increased, and overall sales of spirits, wine, and beer were roughly flat.
“At this point, we’ve seen no impact on spirit sales from legalized recreational marijuana,” Chris Swonger, Distilled Spirits Council CEO, said.
“It’s a little early for people to say no impact,” Bobby Burleson, managing director of Canaccord Genuity, an investment firm in Canada, said. “I think these things change very, very quickly with different generations and demographic groups coming into the consumption category.”
Although it’s true younger drinkers are consuming less alcohol than generations before them, some alcohol producers are betting big on the cannabis trend.
Constellation Brands added $4 billion to an initial $200 million investment in Canopy Growth in August. Anheuser-Busch InBev announced a $100 million deal with Tilray, a Canadian cannabis producer, in December. Also last month, Keith Villa, former Molson Coors executive and creator of the Blue Moon brand, launched Ceria, a line of THC-infused, non-alcoholic beers, in Colorado.