Article by Ben Gilbert, Business Insider
Big players in the alcohol business are pushing back on a major marijuana legalization initiative.
Massachusetts is one of five states with a ballot initiative this year that could legalize recreational use of marijuana, and the alcohol industry is leading the charge to stop the initiative. In Massachusetts, a political action committee that represents 16 of the state’s beer distributors isamong the top three donors to an anti-legalization group, The Intercept’s Lee Fang discovered.
Boston Beer Company (the folks behind Sam Adams) are also worried about the potential for Massachusetts cannabis legalization, Fang pointed out. “Certain states are considering or have passed laws and regulations that allow the sale and distribution of marijuana. It is possible that legal marijuana usage could adversely impact the demand for the Company’s products,” the company noted in an SEC filing back in February.
There’s a crucial difference between the former group and the latter — beer distributors are the middle-men of the beer world, acting as the go-between for brewers and retail. Both distributors and brewers (in the case of Boston Beer) are worried about a negative sales impact, though it’s surprising to see the distribution side of the beer industry negative react.