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How Have Alcohol Sales Been Impacted Since Cannabis Legalization? You’d Be Surprised

August 31, 2015
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Cannabis legalization has concerned many businesses as the thought of a new industry cutting into their profits becomes a valid possibility. Alcohol companies in particular were worried that the debut of legal retail cannabis in Colorado and Washington would result in a sales dip. But has it?

Quite the contrary, actually. Since Colorado legalized recreational cannabis 18 months ago, alcohol sales have “seen phenomenal growth,” according to Justin Martz, the owner of a wine and spirits store in Denver:

“…it’s really turned out to be a non-issue … if anything else it’s kind of helped us. A high tide lifts all boats.”

Martz isn’t the only person in the alcohol industry who’s enjoyed an uptick in sales post-legalization. The New Belgium craft brewing company hasn’t seen a negative impact in sales, either, with its spokesperson arguing that alcohol and cannabis can actually boost each other’s overall sales:

“There’s definitely some crossover in the two communities of beer drinkers and herb enjoyers … But I don’t think people are doubling down in one category or the other.”

Alcohol excise taxes have increased at the same rate year over year since Colorado debuted its recreational cannabis market, and industry workers are actually praising legal cannabis for increasing tourism to the state. Considering the fact that Colorado raked in a record $18.6 billion in tourism dollars in 2014, it’s no wonder the state’s alcohol industry is sitting pretty thanks to the Green Rush.

Read more about the alcohol and cannabis industries’ complicated relationship with each other (hat tip to The Guardian).

What about you, do you consume less alcohol and more cannabis, or do you enjoy each in its own right? Weigh in below: