U.S. Legal Marijuana Could Soon Beat Soda, Put More Pressure on Alcohol Sales

Legal marijuana sales pressuring alcohol is already happening, at least in Colorado’s Aspen.

But who knew that soda, a must-have drink for many people when they go full junk in their food intake, is going to be swamped by the green herb.

According to the U.S. investment bank Cowen, if marijuana made legal in the whole entirety of the United States by 2030, the cannabis industry could generate $75 billion by that year, the Business Insider reported on Tuesday.

A cannabis sector analyst, Vivien Azer, at Cowen changed previous estimates, which placed the market at $25 billion.

Legal marijuana sales are already around $50 billion, Azer said.

While soda sales in the United States reached $76.4 billion in 2017, sales are now on the decline. In 2016, per capita consumption fell to a 31-year low in the United States, according to a Bloomberg report.

Marijuana and Binge-Drinking

Interestingly enough, in U.S. states where cannabis is legal, binge-drinking rates have fallen 9 percent below the national average, and 11 percent below in states that don’t permit recreational marijuana, the bank found.

“This work builds on our prior assertions that cannabis acts as a substitute social lubricant for consumers,” Azer said.

“As cannabis access expands, we expect further pressure on alcohol sales, given this notable divide in consumer consumption pattern.”

In 2017, the sales of alcohol hit $210 billion.