Alcohol Sales Plummeted by 15% in States with Medical Marijuana Law

by Bren Gareffa May 14, 2018

Alcohol Sales Plummeted by 15% in States with Medical Marijuana Law

Alcohol Sales Plummeted by 15% in States with Medical Marijuana Law

Alcohol and marijuana are two of the most popular go-to legal substances (in some states) when you want to chill and relax. And with the boom on states legalizing pots, a relative drop down of the alcohol sales became apparent in these areas. This fact is supported in a joint study made by Michele Baggio (University of Connecticut, Storrs), Albert Chong (Georgia State University, Atlanta / Universidad del Pacifico, Lima) and Sungoh Kwon (University of Connecticut, Storrs).

The information to sustain this statement came from the sales record of 90 alcohol chain stores (drug, grocery, convenience, and store distributions) dated from 2006-2015. They compared its sales before and after MML (Medical Marijuana Law) was implemented, both on states where it is legal and not. They chose getting this solid data instead of conducting surveys because of the fact that people don't usually admit their amount of alcohol consumption. Other factors like the age and race and average income of residents in those areas were also considered, for these variables are impacting to the result as well.

The outcome reveals that states with medical marijuana law scaled down by 15% in the alcohol monthly sales, 13.8% fall on beer and a drastic 16.2% plunge on wine. This of which we can deduce to the idea that indeed Marijuana, at some point, can replace alcohol (wine and beer). Though there are no actual evidence explaining the connection between these substances, the facts presented shows a relative change especially on wine, beer and alcohol trading. Still such findings is still to be tested on other possible factor that may have caused their sales to drop down. Nevertheless, this study is a very useful point of reference that states may consider upon policy making. Up to date, there are nine states and Washington DC to have decriminalize recreational marijuana; plus another 29 states that legalized the Medical Marijuana Law. This figures are expected to rocket this 2018 with the number of ongoing legislative sessions on making this herb permissible.

Though it appears that alcohol and marijuana are competing substance given their similar effect, others actually find it complementing each other. In the recent Webinar on the status of wine industries, the host Rob McMillan (The Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division Executive), along with 2 other wine industry, said that marijuana can't be a major substitute for wine, unlike beer and alcohol. Accordingly, wine compliments meals and marijuana doesn't. Also it is quite usual for people to indulge in more eating and drinking after a pot session. With that point being said, it is possible that the legalization of marijuana will spike alcohol sales in the years to come.




Bren Gareffa
Bren Gareffa

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