Beer sales in Canada continue to decline, down 3% in 2019 vs. 2018, the steepest decline in seven years. This decline is mirrored in the US with recent research showing that the percentage of college students who drink alcohol daily declined from 6.5% in 1980 to 2.2% in 2017. Declining beer sales have been driven, in part, by the emergence of cannabis as an alternative social lubricant. Cannabis has put pressure on alcohol producers to evaluate their future product offerings and could potentially drive additional corporate activity like Constellation’s investment in Canopy Growth and Molson’s joint venture with Hexo in 2018.
A recent study from the University of British Columbia has tentatively confirmed what many in the cannabis industry have been anecdotally discussing for decades: cannabis use is associated with significantly lower odds of daily illicit opioid use.
David Nutt, former scientific advisor to the UK Government and current Neuropsychopharmacology chair at Imperial College London, provides a good history lesson on the politics behind the prohibition of controlled substances across the modern world and discusses the need for a change in government drug policies. Nutt’s views come at a time when governments and organizations across the globe are reassessing controlled substance policies; recently the president of the United Nations’ narcotics enforcement agency questioned whether current views were outdated.