Bongs Over Beer: Marijuana Businesses Cutting into Other Industries

Marijuana businesses have become a major competitor to beer and willmarijuana business lawyers continue to disrupt that industry for the foreseeable future.

An investment firm industry analyst, who specializes in beverages, tobacco, and adult-use marijuana, recently shared data with CNBC, and she established a clear correlation between increased use of marijuana and decreased use of alcohol. She said in states where recreational marijuana use is legal, binge drinking rates have dropped “significantly.” She identified both as “social lubricants.” In other words, both are used by adults in social situations to help unwind, de-stress, have a good time, and feel relaxed with new people or in new environments. 

In terms of stocks, the numbers are clear, as well. Her firm primarily valuates the Canadian market, with Canada on track to legalize adult-use marijuana nationwide by the end of summer. Several Canadian medical marijuana companies are seeing shares grow by up to 240 percent in the past year in anticipation. She said estimates from her firm put the U.S. cannabis industry as being worth $75 billion by 2030, assuming marijuana is removed as a Schedule I narcotic from the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.Our experienced Orange County marijuana business lawyers know that, for quite some time, there have been numbers to support the story of the benefits of medical marijuana. Thousands upon thousands of patients have found relief from cancer treatment symptoms, anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, migraines, and more. This evidence has been compelling to many, but momentum on legalization has been slow. It’s been more than 20 years since California led the way in medical marijuana legalization with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and it’s just now we’re seeing the country really lean in favor of legalization. There are now 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.) that have legalized medical use.

The obvious health benefits, supported by the anecdotal evidence of a couple decades worth of patients, should have been enough to declassify cannabis a long time ago. Its Schedule I status indicates that the drug has no medical benefits, which is laughable when witnessing all those who have found relief under the supervision of their physicians. As we all know, though, money talks. Therefore, it’s no wonder that the numbers attached to dollar signs are the ones driving the most momentum in the cannabis legalization narrative today. The good news is, the potential for financial gain is plentiful for both medical and recreational, which means we could see more states supporting adult-use.

Even recreational use could have its health benefits if the analyst’s predictions are true. If people continue to choose cannabis over alcohol (where such a choice is legal) we could see fewer alcohol-related deaths. Because cannabis can be ingested in a variety of ways, there are choices that can limit exposure to health risks, unlike alcohol. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30,722 people died from causes induced by alcohol in 2014. This number only includes direct ways that alcohol affects the body and does not include accidents or homicides that took place while under the influence. While the comparison to cannabis is not precise, given the easy, long-term access to alcohol versus the abundant restrictions on marijuana nationwide, it’s still highly telling that there were zero marijuana-induced deaths that same year.

The benefits across the board are blatant, but if a strong bottom line is what it takes for the rest of the country to get on board with marijuana legalization, then so be it. No matter what the future holds, our team of attorneys will be here to protect your rights and assist you with all of your marijuana-related legal needs.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

Additional Resources:

We Took a Scientific Look at Whether Weed or Alcohol is Worse for You – And There Appears to Be a Winner, Feb. 20, 2018, By Erin Brodwin, Business Insider

More Blog Entries:

Cautious Optimism Surrounds Marijuana Business Stocks, Jan. 8, 2018, Orange County Marijuana Business Lawyers Blog

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