Legalizing Marijuana Will Hurt Canadian Alcohol Sales, Study Predicts

Article by Jerri Southcott, CBC News

Legalizing marijuana will hurt Canadian alcohol sales, study predicts Some U.S. brands saw 4.4% drop in sales when states legalized pot

The legalization of marijuana may cut into beer and other alcohol sales across Canada, a study by the firm Deloitte says.

“If marijuana is legalized in Canada, we will see a decrease in purchases of beer, wine or spirits. So that’s something that the alcohol industry is going to have to understand and think about and try to anticipate what that means,” said Mark Whitmore, who co-authored the study on recreational marijuana.

Some of the study’s findings show that about 80 per cent of current cannabis consumers rarely mix the drug with alcohol and they’re also drawn to marijuana for the same reason people choose alcohol: to have fun or help connect with others.

Beer sales fell up to 4.4% in U.S.

Recent reports show domestic beer sales fell in Colorado, Washington and Oregon after pot was legalized, with sales of Coors Light and Bud Light dipping as much as 4.4 per cent.

Matthew Bellamy, associate professor of history at Carleton University and a brewing historian, believes Canadian beer sales will fall after the legalization of weed.

“The Canadian brewing industry has passed through many of the same phases in its evolution as the industry in the United States,” he said.

“Like its counterpart south of the border, Canadian brewing emerged as a significant industry between 1865 and 1915; went through the dark years of prohibition from about 1915 to 1930; experienced a renaissance between 1930 and 1945; witnessed the emergence of a national brewing oligopoly after the Second World War; saw the onset of a craft beer revolution in the early 1980s; and underwent significant restructuring since 1990 due to globalization.”

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