High for the Holidays | Booze-Free Alternative Peaks Interest for Holiday Celebrations

Millennials Turn to Cannabis this Holiday Season

Danielle Poirier
Dec 19, 2019 · 6 min read

With the cold weather settling in, snow falling, and holiday lights strung up, there’s nothing better than to come home to a warm, lit — joint?

Millennials continue to shake up traditions by introducing cannabis into the holiday season. Many enjoy cannabis more than drinking — It’s like alcohol, but without the hangover…

Millennials turn to cannabis instead of booze this holiday season.

Cannabis is making its way into the spotlight as a major way to relax or unwind, and with legalization happening left, right, and center, people are finally willing to admit that the formally mislabeled schedule one narcotic is safer, healthier, and actually, a cheaper alternative to booze, especially when it comes to the holiday season.

According to financial firm Cowen and CoIn, in 2016 the recreational cannabis industry was worth about $6 billion, and now that the United States is progressing toward federal legalization, the market is projected to be worth up to $50 billion by 2026 — that’s a 700% jump!

With the alcohol market still holding on, averaging about $565/year spent annually by their average consumer, cannabis takes the gold going as high as $647/year. The two markets are going head-to-head, but with the trends going the way they are, cannabis may come out on top thanks to millennials.

Growing up in a culture where our parents would seek out alcohol as the go-to to unwind after a long hard day, for the younger generations it’s a different story.

Not insinuating that millennials don’t find comfort in alcohol at all — because that’s not the case — the main difference is that millennials have less of an instinct to drink, and in the instance where they do choose to drink, they gravitate toward craft beers or wines, as niche small-batch craft offerings accommodating to everyone are key to millennial purchasers. It’s because of this change in culture and the way that cannabis is marketed for lifestyles raved about for its calming capabilities, that millennials find comfort in the substance over alcohol.

Is the Alcohol Industry in Trouble?

Man outside exhaling smoke from a marijuana joint.
Man outside exhaling smoke from a marijuana joint.
Millennials gravitate toward smoking a joint to unwind versus grabbing a glass of alcohol.

2017, in particular, was “historically bad” for the alcohol market, resulting in 3.8 million fewer alcohol barrels distributed than in previous years. With such extensive research for the loss of alcohol sales in parallel to legalization, alcohol companies that don’t try to get their own piece of the ‘pot pie’ risk losing out based on the heightened demand for cannabis and cannabis-infused products.

With a global stake for cannabis products estimated to be worth about $150 billion, it means the revolution is in full swing. Many companies are intimidated by the fact that it might take some time and could be a gamble in terms of investments on their end, but there is huge potential to penetrate the market, especially while it’s still early.

Cannabis-Infused Drinks In-Line to Hit the Market

Cannabis Quencher, a brand selling lines of THC-infused juices and lemonades in flavours like hibiscus and strawberry have actually been on the market for over 8 years and is the oldest operating and best-selling marijuana beverage brand in the country. Each drink contains 100mg of THC — which is more than enough to get you flying. While this brand is the most popular, more cannabis-infused drinks are going to be hitting the market to appeal to the demand for low-dose alternatives to smoking the flower.

Zenith Global claims that by 2023, the CBD-infused drink market will hit $1.4 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry, and one that beverage brands can’t afford to miss.

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest distributor of still and sparkling beverages, and known for their entrance into the market with their trademarked Cola drink infused with cocaine (back in the day before people realized that cocaine was a big no-no to throw into corporate recipes) is keeping a sharp eye on opportunities to introduce CBD-infused beverages into their reign of best-selling Coke products. The brand’s top global marketer, Francisco Crespo has said the brand is taking a “never say never” view on producing beverages infused with cannabis, specifically CBD, though it may take some time for the company to introduce a product to the masses.

Is Cannabis-Infused ‘Alcohol’ Next?

Cannabis-infused drinks could be the hottest thing coming to the market, and the biggest investment opportunity for many. I mean, who doesn’t like a good beer? Heineken is dipping their toes into the non-alcoholic beer market micro-dosed with THC. Targeted to be sold in cannabis dispensaries throughout California to start, this product will eventually grow to include other states once federal legalization rolls out as well.

Wine and spirits are also getting into the swing of cannabis-infused products. Constellation, the parent company to other alcoholic favourites like Corona and Svedka Vodka invested $4 billion in Canadian cannabis producers back in August 2019.

With this, there are many great advancements coming to the market that will aid in solving some of the major problems that alcohol has brought to the surface.

Rise of Cannabis Events

Becoming a staple in states like Colorado and Washington (thanks to early legalization) for events like weddings, “cannabars” come complete with budtenders and allow safe and thoughtful distribution of cannabis throughout these special occasions.

Man pouring alcohol drinks at a bar. Cannabis drinks served by budtender
Man pouring alcohol drinks at a bar. Cannabis drinks served by budtender
Cannabars and budtenders offer a safe and enclosed space to consume cannabis both with privacy and control.

The idea is that the party organizer buys their own weed and then that becomes the stock for the night for the budtenders to serve. Offering both ‘flower’ and ‘beverage’ packages, attendees have the option to get everything you need to smoke or get served mocktails infused with small amounts of THC.

In addition, you don’t have to worry about your guests getting overwhelmed with their highs. “Overconsumption Kits” are provided at these types of events to cater to those who had a bit too much and want to come down a bit, allowing more control over the whole experience. Events like these give an opportunity for those who have smoked before and had a bad experience, most likely due to previous, albeit accidental, over-dosing, an experience where they can consume in smaller doses and have more control over their high with a professional watching over and aiding in the experience.

Alcohol can bring out the loud and rowdy in everyone, so this holiday season, instead of pounding back boozy eggnog, spiked hot chocolate, or mulled wine, infuse a bit of weed!

Maybe it’s time to change it up. Bring peace to an otherwise stressful holiday season, and see for yourself if you prefer marijuana over alcohol.

Verda encourages you to buy from legal outlets where applicable. Illicit dispensaries don’t offer regulatory tests, which means that anything and everything you buy from them has the potential of being tainted goods.

We want everyone to enjoy the holiday season safely without having to worry about the safety or quality of your cannabis products.

Buy legal. Support local. Consume Safely.

Miss our last blog? Read about the Vaping Crisis Culprit here!


Verda’s Blog

Danielle Poirier

Written by

Content Marketing Manager at Verda Innovations Inc. Sharing my knowledge and learnings within the cannabis space. Always looking for ways to grow!



Verda’s Blog

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