Is Anyone Still Pretending Cannabis Legalization is Good For Wine?
According to a survey of 10,000 California Cannabis users, 87% have reduced their consumption of alcohol in reaction to their cannabis use. Meanwhile, 13% have completely ended their use of alcohol.
First, there is no way to spin this as good news for the wine industry.
Second, anyone who is surprised by the finding that legal cannabis will negatively impact the wine industry should ask themselves how reduced sales of wine is good for the wine industry.
Third, these findings again raise the question, what disposition should the wine industry take toward the growing legalization trend?
On this third question, it’s interesting to note the that at the upcoming Weed and Wine Symposium, the last panel of speakers will address this issue:
“A panel of cannabis industry leaders will share their thoughts on why the passing of Proposition 64 is also good for the wine industry and that a collaborative mindset can create an “All Ships Rise with the Tide” scenario for wine regions throughout the state. The panel will also address threats, such as the competition for consumers, labor, and water.”
This begs some questions for the wine industry to contemplate:
Does anyone really believe that weed and wine pairings will in any way increase appreciation, let alone consumption of wine?
How many winemakers want a car full of stoned tourists showing up in their tasting rooms at 4 pm?
If the survey above is correct and 87% of cannabis users reduce their alcohol (wine) consumption, which sector of the wine industry will see demand drop?
Is there any good reason for the wine industry to collaborate with the cannabis industry in a way that will further consumption of cannabis?
We are going to see more surveys like the one referenced above. Nevada began legally selling recreational cannabis over the weekend. A year from now we’ll have a better idea of just how much that development has reduced wine sales in the state. Likewise, we have about a year and a half in California before we confront lower wine sales or much-reduced wine sales growth.