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Big Alcohol Watching Profits Plummet in States Where they Legally Compete with Cannabis


Back in August, we learned through the Wikileaks email dump that an alcohol lobbying group was peddling propaganda to lawmakers in the attempt to stifle cannabis legalization. Claiming to be “neutral” on the subject, they did not hesitate to spout falsehoods and fear-mongering about the “dangers” of cannabis.

And then, as nine states were preparing to vote on legal cannabis in the November elections, alcohol lobbying groups were exposed as major funders of anti-pot efforts in various states, including Massachusetts and Arizona. The Intercept also noted beer and liquor companies predicted in SEC filings that legal cannabis would threaten their profits.

They were correct.

Brewbound, a craft beer interest group, first reported on an analysis by Cowen and Company finding that beer markets are shrinking in three states with legal cannabis – Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

“[Vivien] Azer unpacked the latest Nielsen data in those three states — beer markets that have “collectively underperformed” in the last two years — and found that “the magnitude of the underperformance has increased notably,” with beer volumes falling more than two percent year-to-date and trailing the overall U.S. beer market.

“While (marijuana) retail sales opened up in these markets at different points of time, with all three of these states now having fully implemented a retail infrastructure, the underperformance of beer in these markets has worsened over the course of 2016,” Azer wrote.”

Interestingly, mainstream beer producers and so-called “premium domestic” beers such as Bud Light and Coors Light are showing the biggest drop – to the tune of 2.4 and 4.4 percent, respectively – while craft beer volumes are performing better. It seems cannabis users appreciate good taste.

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Colorado is seeing a decline in craft beer volumes, but Oregon and Washington craft beers are still in a growth phase. Total beer volumes (mainstream and crafts) in Colorado have fallen 6.4 percent.

Although there is a general deceleration in craft beer volumes nationwide, the effect is more pronounced in the three legal cannabis states where data were analyzed. Imported beers appear to be immune, but even they are lagging behind the national growth trend in legal cannabis states.

While several craft brewing companies are actually welcoming pot legalization, mainstream corporations see it as a “big threat.” This explains their attempt to fund the continued prohibition of cannabis – using government to protect their profits.

Alcohol certainly enjoys a huge advantage, as this highly addictive and dangerous drug is not even classified under the Controlled Substance Act. Federal government leaves alcohol regulation to the states, which reap massive profits through extortion fees (licensing) and exorbitant “sin taxes.”

As more people turn from alcohol to cannabis, perhaps society as a whole will benefit, considering that a scientific study found alcohol fuels aggression while cannabis makes you peaceful.

  • IceTrey

    But cannabis causes memory….wait what was I talking about?

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      Well, better to have some ALLEGED memory loss than the violence caused by alcohol. Reefer is superior to liquor, let’s face it.

  • elizabetta

    The only reason people drink the “premium domestic” beers in the first place is for a cheap buzz. That’s why their sales have declined the most. Now that people can get a buzz with pot, they’re opting for beer that tastes good, and they can spend more on good beer because they don’t have to drink as much – since they already have the pot buzz. That’s my theory, anyway

  • Stuart McDonald

    So that’s the real reason why the Mormon Church, which controls the state of Utah, wants their alcoholic beverage monopoly and ban on marijuana (even medical only) to continue.

  • Kevin Perry

    And then there is Medical marijuana patent 6630507 who owns
    it and why?

    • I know! September 11, 2013 Feds patented medical pot… while fighting it

      On Oct. 7, 2003, the US government issued Patent No. 6,630,507 Actor Michael J. Fox and many millions of other Americans — my dear late wife, Tricia, included — could have gotten very excited about this development back then. But it was, apparently, not the sort of thing Washington wanted advertised. Patent No. 6,630,507, you see, is for cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Most people would simply refer to this as medical marijuana. Who got that patent? The US government gave this patent to itself.


      • Kevin Perry

        But know one has the berries/ cahoonas / nads to bring it up against the feds. well it needs now not in 2018 to bring it to the surface. i have the knowledge but no cash to fight it and the media is so whipped/payed off. and yes the patent is being tested overseas why ? i know the reason do We the People know? NO!

        ask GW Pharma about it.

    • Pie Romania

      That patent has been known about for a long time, much like this one (but this one isn’t as known by the masses). https://www.google.com/patents/US20130059018

  • Great news! Hope they all fail!

    Alcohol leads to violence and stupidity and death on our roads. Everyone should smoke a bowl instead and chill. 😉

  • There are some other government workers as well lobbying against freedom.

    October 25, 2016 Prison Food Contractors Funded Efforts To Combat Marijuana Legalization

    All of these organizations have a distinct interest in keeping nonviolent people in jail. So, it should come as no surprise a prison contractor is working to keep marijuana illegal.