Co-Existing - Cannabis and Alcohol
As more and more states legalize cannabis in some form (over half the states allow it for at least medical use), cannabis infused products, including CBD oils, are becoming more and more popular. And with over one-fifth of the states allowing some form of recreational use for marijuana, some people are wondering what effect increased legalization will have on distilled spirits and other alcohol producers.
A Lucy Britner article from The Spirits Business gives a little bit of insight about how these two products may come to co-exist in a future that is likely to find both products legal in a majority of locations. She notes that the beer companies are taking initiative toward co-existence with certain companies investing in the cannabis industry and already forming a type of partnership. Big spirit producers, however, seem to be "monitoring the space" while smaller spirit producers are taking initiative with CBD infused drinks in Europe (such products are not yet legal in the United States).
According to this same article, a survey of recreational users of cannabis showed that "41%...use recreational cannabis 'as an alternative to alcohol'". It also appears that those that use both products tend to reduce their levels of alcohol consumption. While it seems unlikely that cannabis will completely replace alcohol, early research seems to show that it probably is a competitor on some level.
What this means for the future partnership of these two industries is still very much up in the air. But as legalization of recreational cannabis use becomes more widespread, there are really only two options for these two industries. They may become rivals in a new, combined recreational industry. But our bet would be to look for more partnerships of cannabis and alcohol producers as the two industries learn to co-exist and serve much of the same consumer group. While they may compete for the same consumers, they may also eventually combine products to give these consumers more, and new, options.
At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we already receive requests for packaging systems for cannabis infused products, including foods and beverages. LPS serves both these industries, as equipment is manufactured for distilled spirits, CBD oils and cannabis-infused products, among other industries. The legalization of cannabis along with recent de-regulation in the distilled spirits industry has produced a large increase in the demand for such packaging machinery. Many of these are unique products and packages that have led to innovative packaging solutions, such as bottle corkers for many spirit products. LPS both expects and welcomes new products and product combinations which will hopefully lead to more packaging innovation in the future.