How Legalized Marijuana May Impact Wine Sales…and Not
I’ve never been the guy that used alcohol, let alone wine, to self medicate, to get my drunk on or to “come down” after a particularly stressful or tough day. Even in my youth when drinking was experimental and powered by weekend, peer-induced partying I was the guy that sipped my beer or my Seven and Seven slowly. Ive always had an aversion to the feeling of being drunk. But I do like the taste and the am fascinate by the diversity of types of wine and spirits. Hence, I’m a user.
However, I suspect my own motivation for using alcohol is different from a whole number of others who in fact do consume beer, wine and spirits at least in part, if not in whole, to get drunk. It’s this knowledge that is leading me and many others to wonder if legalization of marijuana will bite into the alcohol market as the move to legalize moves from Washington State and Colorado to most of the rest of the U.S. And it certainly will.
The early evidence springing from various studies suggests that availability of marijuana DOES act as a substitute for alcohol and Andrew Sullivan does a good job of laying out the research.
Of course, the extent to which marijuana use will replace wine use will only go so far as to impact those sales of wine that are made to folks who drink primarily to get drunk. I don’t know how large this market for wine is. But I doubt it’s too big. And wine shouldn’t worry that much as it has a huge advantage over marijuana.
While both substances can be used to “calm your nerves”, only wine provides its users with the chance to explore the cultural and historical differences of many lands via consumption and only wine provides and authentic and reliable way to enhance the a full menu meal. And only wine allows you to widely and deeply explore these things at one sitting without necessarily devolving into groggy stupor. Although, wine has the advantage of providing that option also.