Coors and others see legal weed as "risk factor."

I believe it was within a month of moving here that I was having this debate with a fellow bar patron. "Does legal weed hurt liquor sales?" I think everyone agrees that brewing giants like Molson Coors, Anheuser-Busch, and Boston Beer Companies aren't fans of recreational marijuana sales. It's a fact that advertising campaigns waged against recent states voting to legalize pot were partly funded by some of the nations largest breweries.

It's too early to know just how much weed sales is hurting beer and liquor sales. According to Molson Coors spokesperson Colin Wheeler, “Although the ultimate impact is currently unknown, the emergence of legal cannabis in certain U.S. states and Canada may result in a shift of discretionary income away from our products or a change in consumer preferences away from beer...”

To me, it would make sense to "don't fight'em...but join'em!" Some are considering moving in that direction. Just last year Constellation Brands invested nearly $200 Million in Canadian marijuana outfit Canopy Growth with a possible plan to develop cannabis adult beverages.

The reality is don't look for beer companies to go filling bankruptcy anytime soon.  Last year, Molson Coors reported increases in both fourth-quarter and annual sales. The company posted over $2 1/2 Billion in quarterly sales and that's up from the $2.47 Billion the year before. Annual sales edged up to $11 Billion from $10.98.

So the answer is? I don't think so. At least not for now.

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