Republished with permission from The Marijuana Times; Read the original article HERE.
We’ve reported extensively on the foreseeable future of the cannabis industry. While much of the future of the legal herb business continues to look promising, there are some areas that cause varying degrees of concern.
One of those areas is the fact that cannabis activists and enthusiasts are worried that corporations will eventually take over, essentially robbing the niche of its bottom-up, grassroots vibe. Others have argued that corporations should have every right to compete in a somewhat free market.
Many companies who produce alcoholic beverages are taking notice that a significant chunk of their customer base is ditching booze in favor of legal herb. Once cannabis is legal in all fifty states, an approximate 27 percent of regular drinkers say they will immediately switch to being regular legal cannabis users instead, according to Forbes. The Forbes report also noted that the legal booze industry could lose up to $2 billion to the legal herb industry.
Fortune 500 Corporations like Constellation Brands, who produce Corona beer and Clos du Bois Wine, see the writing on the wall: Legal cannabis is slowly but surely taking over, regardless of how anyone feels about it. Constellation Brands recently acquired a 9.9 percent stake in a Canadian legal marijuana business called Canopy Growth. According to CNBC, Canopy is valued at $2.2 billion dollars by the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Corporations like these are preparing to make the move from booze to herb. According to the Cowen & Co. research and brokerage firm, sales on the alcoholic beverage market are on the steady decline, because various states legalized cannabis in 2016. “These states now having fully implemented a marijuana retail infrastructure, the underperformance of beer in these markets has worsened over the course of 2016,” they said.
Cannabis-infused cocktails have also been recently been becoming a thing in the legal weed market. Gone are the days where expensive absinthe is the only drink the bartender will pour that will produce psychoactive effects. Booze corporations, like Constellation, are obviously keenly aware of these marijuana industry facts. As with everything else in the legal cannabis industry, this issue will only continue to evolve – and require federal restrictions to be completely removed in order for the medicine to reach its full potential.
What are your thoughts? Should Corona have the right to serve weed customers on the free market? Why or why not?