Why Weed Is Making the Beer Industry Nervous

Beer, which already ‘shares the buzz’ with wine and liquor, might have to start sharing with marijuana

Marijuana sales have been on the rise but are still dwarfed by beer.

Wine, liquor, beer, and now in some states, marijuana are competing… for your buzz. Some analysts refer to this competition between vices as ‘share of buzz,’ according to Quartz, and marijuana is playing an increasing role in this share of buzz with the legalization of marijuana in select states, which is expanding.

Though marijuana sales have been on the rise, it is still dwarfed by beer sales, which bring in more than $101 billion annually. Marijuana sales came in at $2.7 billion in 2014, a 74 percent increase from 2013. Nomura analysts estimate marijuana sales will increase to $10.8 billion by 2019. They also predict the beer industry will lose at least some of its share of buzz to marijuana.


To further help tip the scales, marijuana supporters are making the case of marijuana as a safer and healthier alternative. Taylor West, of the National Cannabis Industry Association, says, “If people are replacing some amount of alcohol with cannabis consumption, it is a net positive for public health.”