Is Cannabis Being Used As a Substitute for Alcohol?

With its popularity rising and more states legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, are the social activities of American citizens shifting from alcohol to cannabis? Findings from 2014 studies from Alcohol and Alcoholism suggest they are.

51% of millennial cannabis users are choosing marijuana instead of alcohol. If this younger generation keeps choosing cannabis over alcohol, it could hurt the alcohol industry’s bottom line and reshape America’s social scene.

In July of last year,a survey from Headset found that consumers nationwide are now spending more on legal marijuana than they are on alcohol. The typical male customer spends about $647 annually on marijuana products, compared to an average of $645 a year on alcohol, based on the report.

According to analysis by Cowen & Company, beer sales have declined in states where recreational marijuana is legal. The researchers concluded that total beer sales have declined by 2 percentage points across three legal cannabis states (Colorado, Washington, and Oregon). A similar survey found that 27 percent of beer drinkers in the U.S. said they have switched to legal marijuana or would switch if cannabis were legal where they live.