Four reasons why cannabis is disrupting the alcohol industry in the USA

In spite of tight regulations and a virtually non-existent global market, analysts and industry veterans alike are extremely optimistic over the prospects of the burgeoning cannabis market in the US.

The cannabis market is still very small, but growing fast, according to researchers at BDS Analytics. While much has been written about the cross-over between the cannabis and alcohol industries, this portion of the market is even smaller.

Looking at the current cannabis market in legal US states, edibles make up 15% of sales, while drinks make up just 5%, according to the research firm. When you consider than non-alcoholic drinks in general make up 80% of the USA’s total beverage market, you start to put the new innovation in perspective.

However, analysts have warned that alcohol manufacturers must think carefully about how they market their products to avoid losing out in a new consumer landscape.

BDS Analytics, which provides data and market insights for cannabis producers in the US, held a webinar on Wednesday 27 June dedicated to the intersection of the cannabis and drinks industries.

Ahead of the webinar, the drinks business caught up with Jessica Lukas, BDS Analytics’ vice president of consumer insights, who told us that the burgeoning cannabis industry is just as much an opportunity for alcohol companies as it is a threat.

“It can be very tempting to see cannabis and alcohol as a black and white issue,” Lukas said, “but the market is far more nuanced than that.”

Lukas gave us four reasons why, despite being a small piece of the market, cannabis could threaten the drinks industry.

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