To Chug or Toke? For Consumers, That’s Increasingly The Question

The notion that marijuana is a “gateway drug” that leads to harder, more harmful psychotropic substances has been thoroughly disputed by the medical establishment.

I’m reminded of a classic joke uttered by the late great comedian George Carlin: “Beer leads to heroin, there’s no question about it.”

In an ironic twist, an increasing number of people are abandoning beer for marijuana.

A new Canadian study released this week found that marijuana legalization has been “associated with a decline in beer sales” in the Great White North, pointing to a substitution effect. Separate studies in the U.S. suggest the same dynamic is unfolding in this country.

As Canada sees cannabis tax revenue surpass that generated from beer and wine, the study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that, since the country legalized adult-use marijuana in 2018, beer sales have continued to drop.

“Canada-wide beer sales fell by 96 hectoliters per 100,000 population immediately after non-medical cannabis legalization and by 4 hectoliters per 100,000 population each month thereafter for an average monthly reduction of 136 hectoliters per 100,000 population post-legalization,” the researchers from University of Manitoba, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and University of Toronto found.

The study authors said the data indicates a substitution effect is at play, with consumers increasingly opting for marijuana over beer as their intoxicant of choice. A cold brew after work is getting replaced with puffs of grass, across all adult demographics. As pot sales grow, so do the profits of cannabis purveyors and their investors.

The Canadian study noted:

“Beer sales continued to decline in the post-legalization period, suggesting that individuals are moving away from beer towards legal cannabis. While increased use of cannabis is not necessarily harmless and further research is needed to understand the health effects of the switch from alcohol to cannabis, the reduction in beer sales associated with the non-medical cannabis legalization suggests that individuals are likely not using alcohol and cannabis concurrently.”

From barrels to bongs…

We’re witnessing a cultural revolution, as consumers increasingly replace booze and cigarettes with marijuana. At the state level in the U.S., cannabis sales also have been outpacing alcohol in several legal jurisdictions. Marijuana has become a mainstream consumer practice.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 50% of Americans say they have tried marijuana at some time, which is a new high point (see chart).

A recent survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the research firm Morning Consult found that a majority of Americans consider marijuana to be far less risky than alcohol, tobacco cigarettes, opioids, and even technology.

The Marlboro Man has gone from iconic Western hero to public health menace.

Read This Story: The Dawn of Cannabis Spells Sunset For Marlboro Man

Another recent Gallup poll shows more Americans now smoke marijuana (via pipes, bongs and joints) than tobacco cigarettes. This poll was the first time that Gallup found pot to be more popular than tobacco.

In fact, as they contend with shrinking markets, large-cap tobacco companies are buying promising marijuana companies, to diversify their product portfolios and move away from nicotine. Tobacco companies realize that marijuana is competition, so they’re working hard to co-opt it.

But it’s not just in the realm of recreation. Health professionals are embracing cannabis. In a landmark study titled, “The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief,” published in the journal Scientific Reports, University of New Mexico (UNM) researchers found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) contents were the most important factors for optimizing symptom relief for a wide variety of health conditions.

As a certain Nobel laureate sang: The times, they are a-changin’.

Now’s the time to tap the crypto bonanza…

I regularly write about the opportunities in cannabis. But today, I want to emphasize the big profits that await you in crypto.

If you think crypto is too dangerous an investment, think again.

Consider this fact: the “blue chip” of crypto, Bitcoin (BTC), gained 156% in 2023. BTC and the broader crypto realm have engaged in a roaring bull market this year.

Every portfolio should have some sort of exposure to crypto. But you need to be informed, to make the right choices. Start receiving our FREE e-letter, Crypto Investing Daily. Click here now!

John Persinos is the editorial director of Investing Daily.

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