history of alcohol for marijuana
history of alcohol for marijuana

History Does Not Repeat Itself, But It Does Rhyme - Lessons the Marijuana Industry Can Learn from the Alcohol Industry

Cannabis fights to distance itself from alcohol, but what lessons can the industry take away?

Posted by:
Chiara C on Sunday Aug 28, 2022

history of alcohol for marijuana

American history has not been kind to cannabis but despite all odds, the psychoactive herb has gone mainstream in American society even though it is still federally illegal. Cannabis has gone far from just being a cultural mainstay for movies and music to us seeing cannabis-based products on the shelves of makeup counters, grocery stores and wellness shops.


It is now a common sight for celebrities and chefs to host cannabis-infused dinners for their friends and selected fans. Even Martha Stewart, a local celebrity recognized for proper and prim living, is an active cannabis aficionado who now has her line of CBD-based products.


In the same vein alcohol, moved from the speakeasy to mainstream, and cannabis is taking a similar part and is building for itself a new space in modern culture. This is not so surprising considering there are many similarities between how alcohol was able to grow and re-emerge into the mainstream since the Prohibition years and the rise of cannabis use in the modern era.


Alcohol beverages have now become an integral part of modern culture and have been embraced into every aspect of life. According to the latest data from Federal Health Statistics, the average American drinks roughly 1.35 drinks per day, 9.5 drinks per week and 494 drinks per year that contain some form of alcohol.


Similar to alcohol, cannabis has walked through its distinct journey from being a lazy stoner habit to being integrated into every aspect of life both recreationally and medically. With cannabis and hemp-infused beverages now starting to take off, and in some cases ship across state lines, the beverage industry may be a good historical comparision. How does the cannabis industry the wine boom of the 1980s?


The factors that influenced alcohol's rocky transition to the mainstream are complex and vast. However, when evaluated as an intermediary to cannabis normalization, there are three primary aspects the cannabis industry should focus on if it wants to cement itself in the mainstream. The three focus aspect include;


  • Offering a wide format variety

  • Encouraging more diverse usage occasions and

  • Specifying users' expectations for a responsible experience.



Offering A Wide Format Variety

For cannabis to be accessible, the industry must explore the essence of options ans variety in boosting the normalization and appreciation of alcohol. For instance, what we have in the market today is a long list of spirit offerings ranging from high-end liquors to cheap, blended spirits. There's also the option of unaged rums to decades-aged whiskies, flavorful gins to flavorless vodkas.


Today, consumers have the luxury of a wide variety of spirits in all kinds of groups at different price points. This ensures that the product suits every desire and pocket out there and this can be applied to cannabis. The criminalization and prohibition of cannabis made it difficult for innovative and inventive options to pop off. And in a lot of ways have alienated cannabis from potential users. But that narrative is rapidly evolving. For instance, there's now a massive interest in vapes and concentrates.


As far back as 2018, concentrates have been rising through the chart. According to data released by BDSA, concentrates, in terms of sales expansion has surpassed flower since 2018. Now, cannabis beverages are beginning to have the spotlight as companies continue to understand how to improve production. More importantly, consumers are also starting to discover what joy it is to have cannabis drinks with zero hangovers.



Encouraging More Diverse Usage Occasions

Apart from formats, cannabis can also provide a wide variety of uses ans functions across different occasions all day. A unique ability the alcohol industry doesn't have.


Even though alcohol has been able to position itself on multiple occasions, it is still very restricted. Alcohol is generally acceptable at social gatherings, mostly at night. Day/solo drinking is socially frowned upon. At a fundamental level, the function of alcohol is the same. A shot/glass/mug of your choice of alcohol will basically make you feel the same way.


But that's not the case with cannabis. Cannabis use extends is quite deeper than the surface buzz of recreational cannabis use. People feel the impact of cannabis strains differently; its use is social and more individual. The continuously evolving innovations will only assist users in further redefining and defining their connections with cannabis


Also about how alcohol consumption norms developed with emerging participants coming up with modern ways to drink alcohol, the culture and lifestyle of cannabis are evolving. Rather than just rolling up a joint to get high, or managing a persisting health condition, amazing opportunities now present themselves for cannabis users. Users can now experience cannabis in unique ways such as to influence their moods and feeling.



Specifying Users' Expectations For A Responsible Experience


Lastly, introducing newbies to have a peak cannabis experience largely depends on the authenticity of the product and entry-point education. The need to establish a predictable and consistent dosing standard then becomes highly necessary.


Again, let's have a look at alcohol; the serving is defined. This is by careful and conscious design; for example, a cocktail, a glass of wine, and a beer all have the same alcohol content. This gives users an idea of what they taking and how to act around a type of alcohol and manage their experience. But, cannabis still has a long way to go as dosing standards have not been established.


Hence, the cannabis industry must seek to actively establish a dosing standard to alleviate the fears of cannabis effects. A common phrase in the industry is “everyone has an edible story” due to dosage uncertainties, especially for newbies. The industry must work together to ensure that this is left in the past.



As the chances for federal cannabis legalization continue to grow, the future of cannabis mustn't be viewed through the lens of legacy or traditional consumers. Rather, the future of cannabis should be seen through the lens of individuals looking to improve their cannabis experience and enjoy life.


The cannabis culture has grown to be massive and there's a place for everyone and anyone. Public acceptability is at a high-time high and the future promises more for every cannabis user.





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