A new study shows a decline in 13% sales of alcoholic beverages in countries that have legalized medical cannabis.
This study was conducted by researchers from the universities of Connecticut and Georgia in the United States. The University of the Pacific also participated in this research. The aim was to find out if there was a link between the legalization of cannabis and the consumption of alcohol.
A previous analysis carried out by the investment bank Cowen and company had already noted this reality.
However, in this new study published a few weeks ago, researchers looked at alcohol sales in the United States and countries where cannabis was legal and compared them to sales in other countries.
The researchers preferred not to rely on consumer testimonials. They favored official sales data from 90 liquor stores, from 2006 to 2015.
A decline in 13% of spirits sales
In total, they indicate an average 13% decrease in alcohol purchases in areas where cannabis is legally available by prescription.
“When we look at beer and wine sales separately, we find a decrease of 13,8 and 16,2 in countries where cannabis is legal”, write authors.
“We have found that marijuana and alcohol are obvious substitutes for each other,” they added. “States that have legalized medical cannabis have seen a 13% drop in monthly alcohol sales. "
Fear confirmed for producers of alcoholic beverages
The reasons for this decrease are undoubtedly due to the negative effects of the consumption of these drinks. In comparison with cannabis, these effects seem more harmful according to consumers.
We can assume that there is a “novelty” effect around cannabis which may explain this drop in alcohol sales. However, we observe that the cannabis user is much better educated around the product.