There’s a big conversation happening right now regarding how cannabis seems to be stealing market share from alcohol, especially among millennials and Gen Z. There is a part of these generations, a somewhat large one at that, who drink rarely or never at all. However, they’re not completely dry. Instead, they’re replacing alcoholic substances with cannabis.
While it can definitely be true that cannabis is “stealing” a larger market share now than ever before thanks to some states’ legalization, it seems like willful deception to solely blame legal sale. After all, people have been consuming cannabis since long before it became legal. In fact, that’s one of the driving arguments for legalization — prohibition hasn’t worked to prevent people from consuming. Cannabis and alcohol have coexisted for decades, but thanks to legalization, more people have made marijuana a part of their lifestyle, including consuming it in place of, or in tandem with, alcohol in more socially acceptable ways.
But legalization can be a bumpy road. In New York City in particular, where cannabis has been legal for recreational consumption since 2021, marijuana has found its way into almost every corner of the city. However, what many New Yorkers may not know is that only a couple dozen of these retailers are actually legal, with the remaining hundreds distributing unregulated products that have the potential to do real harm. Plus, through the distribution of unregulated cannabis sales, the city misses out on a huge chunk of tax revenue that would go back into public resources (the cannabis industry is expected to be valued at over $50 billion by 2027).
At Gotham, one of NYC’s few legal dispensaries, visitors can find lifestyle and home goods alongside cannabis. Gotham adheres to strict quality-control measures, supply chains, and sales practices outlined by the state. While the bud may cost a bit more than the stuff you can find at the bodega down the block, you can be certain that it’s been vetted as high quality and you’ll know what you’re putting in your body. Let’s leave the days of buying unregulated weed in the past.
Today on the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam, Joanna, and Zach discuss the oft-repeated fear that legalized marijuana is impacting the alcohol industry. Then, Adam and VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers sit down with Gotham founder Joanne Wilson about the business and appeal of legal marijuana. Tune in for more.
Joanna is reading: The 50 Best Wines of 2023
Zach is reading: Dry Douro Wines Are Challenging Port’s Status as King of the Valley
Adam is reading: Dark, Stormy, and Ready to Drink: The Forgotten History of Goslings’ Canned Rum Cocktail