Many states are facing obstacles in the ever-continuing legalization battle of marijuana, but good news comes out of Aspen today that’ll hopefully push lawmakers in the right direction. For the year of 2017, dispensary revenues surpassed liquor revenues for the first time ever, clocking in at 11.3 million compared to liquor’s 10.5 million.
“I think it’s meaningful for a couple of reasons,” said Matt Kind, host of the CannaInsider podcast and Boulder entrepreneur. “One in particular is when people are visiting Aspen and adjusting to a high altitude, some don’t drink for that first couple of days. And I think people are looking for something different from alcohol, which is essentially poison, and marijuana is botanical. I don’t say that with judgment, but you feel some lingering effects with alcohol.”
Within the Aspen city limits, there are five liquor stores and six dispensaries. Some are going to use this to push legalization in other states, correlating lower alcohol sales to fewer DUIs and alcohol-related injuries and crimes. “I think it shows adults are open to change,” said Max Meredith, store manager at the Stash dispensary.
“There are new substitutes, and they can be handled responsibly. And perhaps there are a few less late-night fights.”
Nationally, marijuana is starting to have a big impact on the alcohol industry. A study released in December by Georgia State University showed a 15 percent drop in alcohol sales in states allowing medical marijuana sales. The study covered a 10-year period from 2006 to 2015.Hopefully other states will see the negative impact pot legalization has on sales and consider moving towards more liberal laws.