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Unless its positioning towards younger consumers fundamentally changes, the beer industry should be ready to take a back seat to cannabis as more and more US states consider legalization.

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Jordan Smith The fresh toast The vast majority of Americans no longer drink as much as they used to. The vast majority of Americans no longer drink as much as they used to. Photo by DisobeyArt / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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To understand how immersed in our culture drinking is, all one has to do is turn on prime-time television. During any major awards show or sporting event, viewers are inundated with advertisements from several different alcohol companies that are tasked with keeping Americans happy.

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The problem is, the vast majority of Americans don’t drink as much as they used to. What are you doing instead? Smoking weed! Recent studies have shown that cannabis use reached an all-time high in the 19-30 age group in 2020 (no pun intended). The recent spike in marijuana use is primarily to blame for the steady decline in alcohol sales.

There are numerous factors that can explain when and why consumers are starting to choose weed over alcohol. Here are just a few.

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Cannabis is more acceptable today than it has been in years past

Older media accounts of marijuana use may be reminiscent of images of disheveled, disoriented cannabis without caring for the world. Thanks to the increasing national legalization of marijuana, these perceptions are being broken daily. Now that consumers are able to step into the doors of their favorite pharmacy to buy their favorite product, just as wine mothers can buy their favorite bottle of vino, it is easier to imagine marijuana users as coworkers and colleagues rather than extras in a stoner movie the 70s.

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Alcohol can be more expensive than marijuana

It’s no secret that young people don’t have very much in terms of disposable income, especially since they are just in their early twenties. That is why it is of the utmost importance for them to get as much for their money as possible. The price of a beer in any bar on any major metro in the country is around $ 6. That means a night to drink could cost someone between $ 20 and $ 50 a night.

That doesn’t even take into account the physical toll of a brutal hangover, which could be bad enough to keep you off work for a day or so. Typically, a gram of high quality cannabis costs between $ 10 and $ 20, and a few might be enough to keep a humble consumer all week.

Marijuana is a better fit for millennial lifestyles

After Colorado, Oregon, and Washington legalized adult cannabis use, fears of every major beer brand became a reality. Craft brewers have also suffered a decline recently, but this was the case across the country due to a slight but noticeable oversaturation of the market. The Colorado, Oregon, and Washington case is particularly intriguing as beer volumes have declined in each of the states in the continental United States that first introduced legalized cannabis.

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What makes matters even more complicated is that data shows that legalized cannabis markets are overwhelmingly underperforming other craft beer markets across the country. The question is whether this is an indicator of the future, for both cannabis and craft beer brands.

One of the reasons cannabis brands have been able to capture such a large portion of the market share from craft breweries is the way they can position themselves as lifestyle brands. By matching spin classes and squeezed juice bars popular with millennial demographics, it’s easier to convince younger consumers that their brand and products are seamlessly in line with their lifestyle. Evidence of this is the wide range of demographics that newer cannabis products and brands are targeting, including health enthusiasts and plain old stoners just looking for excitement after work.

Legalized weed was a major disruption to the craft beer market in its infancy. Unless its positioning towards younger consumers fundamentally changes, the beer industry should be prepared to take a back seat to cannabis as more and more states consider legalization.

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TheFreshToast.com, a US lifestyle site contributing lifestyle content and medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp through its partnership with 600,000 doctors through Skipta.

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