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Is Marijuana Going to Replace Alcohol?

The cannabis industry is on an ongoing boom in the world, especially in North America. In fact, the demand for cannabis is so big that Canada is facing a supply shortage which has been occurring ever since the sales of recreational cannabis opened in the country. But wait, wasn’t that just a few months ago? Yes, and still Canadians are running low of marijuana.

The trend is that this industry keeps growing more and more, generating more money and more interest in possible marijuana consumers.

It’s no news that many people who were once frightened by the myths created and spread around about marijuana are now beginning to change their minds and getting more interested in knowing weed more. The ones who are not interested in using it, at least support its legalization.

Not only consumers but ever since Canada legalized marijuana for adult use, many investors were sighting their entry into the cannabis stock market. And many of them did, including big brewers company.

The first huge brewing company entering the marijuana was the Constellation Brands, the creator of Corona and Modelo. The company invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a cannabis Canadian company, that would be responsible for creating THC-infused brews. People still have one question – will medical marijuana in New York match California in popularity?

The second largest brewer in the world, Molson Coors, has recently entered the cannabis market. The company is teaming with The Hydropothecary Corporation (HEXO), a Canada-based cannabis producer. The CEO Mark Hunter told investors that Molson Coors “assembled a team in Canada to actively explore the risks and opportunities of entering the cannabis space in that market.” The brewer’s interest is also to create a "…non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization."

So, giving the current situation of cannabis in the world, the big question is: Is marijuana going to replace alcohol? As far as brewers are concerned, if cannabis does overcome alcohol, they want their piece of the pie.

You may believe that alcohol is far from being dethroned by marijuana, however, there’s evidence that may show otherwise.

It has become a tendency people quitting drinking in order to improve their health, and guess what? Most of these people have recurred to marijuana to help them quit drinking. You probably know someone who did this, and we have John Mayer to prove it. Recently, the singer announced he stopped drinking “I put [cannabis] where drinking used to go,” told Mayer to Rolling Stone. “The quality of life has gone up considerably. Drinking is a fucking con. It always felt wrong.”

If by any chance you thought people are just trading a bad habit for another one, here are some reasons why marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol and if moderately used it can improve someone’s health:

Alcohol is constantly linked with violence in studies, while marijuana hasn’t.

In 2014, more than 30,000 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes. As of now, there haven’t been any documented deaths from marijuana use alone. Ever.

Alcohol is more addictive than marijuana. In fact, only 9% of people who tried marijuana once get addicted, against 15% of those who drank alcohol once.

Alcohol use is linked to weight gain, while marijuana users (despite the munchies) are slightly less likely to develop obesity.

Different researches have shown that smoking marijuana decreases the amount of alcohol someone drinks, even if they don’t completely quit drinking.

Early 2018, Michele Baggio, Alberto Chong, and Sungoh Kwon presented a research that showed a reduction of alcohol consumption in states with medical marijuana laws.

Data was taken from the Nielsen Retail Scanner alcohol sales data from 90 alcohol chain stores from 2006-2015. Researchers believed that consumers were not reliable in providing information about their alcohol consumption habits.

They extracted information of 90-chain data and compared alcohol sales of states that don't have a medical marijuana program and states with medical marijuana programs. They analyzed data before and after these medical marijuana laws were implemented. Demographics such as age and race and economics of the consumers were analyzed as well.

Results of the study have shown that there's been almost a 15 percent reduction in monthly alcohol sales in states with a medical marijuana program, concluding that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes of each other.

A 2017 poll conducted by Marist Poll and Yahoo News, have shown that 34% of women, 56% of baby boomers and 67% of those who earn over $50,000 — who are also the biggest wine-drinking demographic of the U.S — said their cannabis consumption would go up in case the U.S. federal government legalized weed.

Since alcohol and cannabis are directly linked as a substitute to one another, and the biggest wine-drinking demographic of the U.S. would smoke weed in case it was legalized federally, it is probably time that brewing companies start to open their eyes to the cannabis industry.

Written by Prateek Kulhari

Prateek is a business editor who writes about various topics such as technology, health and finance. At Pressly, he works along with the colourful folks that build a nation through tech startups. He is also a professional football player and video games enthusiast.

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