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Rise In Marijuana Sales Is Starting To Worry Beer Companies, Here’s Why

Well folks, it might be time to replace those koozies and beer mugs with OG Kush and Clear Eyes.

According to business news outlet Quartz, marijuana could be making a push to topple beer as America’s favorite vice of choice…eventually.

When considering how many people have died from alcohol-related causes, it makes sense that a nation with a steadily growing concern for health and safety would begin gravitating more towards marijuana, a substance that has been directly related to very few deaths, if at all.

Ever since the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, the industry has been growing rapidly. The ArcView Group, an investment firm based in San Francisco that specializes in providing financing to marijuana-based ventures, recently released a study showing the massive increase in sales of both medical and recreational marijuana over the past year.

Below is a chart from the ArcView study that shows marijuana sales from 2011-2015, plus the projected sales for 2016. It’s clear to see that ever since states began legalizing marijuana for recreational use in 2013, the industry has boomed, attracting both longtime users and curious newcomers. There was a whopping 74 percent increase in national revenue, jumping from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014.

Beer’s only real competitor for the last few decades has been hard alcohol and liquor, and bringing in $2.7 billion, while impressive, still doesn’t even come close to beer sales (which are over $100 billion annually). So why are beer capitalists showing concern? Simply put: marijuana’s potential for growth.

While the gap between the two industries is about as wide as the Rio Grande, the fact that only a handful of states have legalized marijuana needs to be taken into account. It’s safe to say that had they been compared on an even playing field, with weed being legalized everywhere, the difference between the two would be a lot closer.

Furthermore, in the past two years, the alcohol sales tax has gone up drastically in Colorado. Many believe that this was done to keep up with marijuana sales, however the majority of beer companies insist that this rise in rates is simply natural market inflation.

So what do you think? Will the marijuana industry eventually take over or will beer still come out on top in the end?

You decide. Literally.

Photo Credit: Quartz, Dutch Passion, Leaf Science, The Oaks Treatment