Is Marijuana Disrupting the Beer Industry’s Flow?

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Marijuana may take over the phrase “This Bud’s for You.”

In yet another sign that marijuana is going mainstream, new research shows that 27 percent of beer drinkers have or would purchase marijuana instead beer if it were legal in their state.

Cannabiz Consumer Group just released a study that examined the impact legal marijuana sales could have on the beer industry if every state were to legalize. Overall, the study concluded that 7.1 percent of revenues from the existing retail beer industry could be siphoned by legal marijuana.


The large-scale study contacted beer drinkers from across the United States. In total, 40,000 participants were involved in the study.

The idea of marijuana becoming a preferred method of recreational fun has been building. In December, we noted that beer sales were already starting to tumble in legal marijuana states.

The news may not be what the beer companies want to hear, but all may not be lost yet for the industry. Chief Innovation Officer of Cannabiz, Rich Maturo, seemed to feel the both industries could still co-exist if beer makers address the changing market. “Those at risk of losing sales to cannabis can try to offset some of the losses by understanding and speaking to a consumer’s needs,” Maturo said.

For many, it is not a simple case of choosing one over the other. Just because consumers start to favor cannabis, it likely will not mean an end to them buying beer. Beer sales total approximately $100 billion per year according to the National Beer Wholesalers association, so the industry should remain intact moving forward.

Overall, Cannabiz expects the marijuana industry to grow to $50 billion annually if there is nationwide legalization. Last year, there were 24.6 million legal marijuana customers. These numbers are likely to grow. Eight states have legalized recreational marijuana with more expected to follow suit in the next few years.