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Is legal weed flattening beer sales?

(Cannabist) A research note published this week from Cowen & Company financial analysts suggests that beer volume sales in the legal recreational cannabis states of Colorado, Oregon and Washington are under-performing the overall U.S. beer market by 2.6 percentage points year-to-date. “In adult-use cannabis markets, there are clear signs that cannabis is weighing on beer category trends,” Cowen analyst Vivien Azer wrote in the report. She also noted: “Mainstream beers are the biggest drag, while craft is also slowing. Imports look the most immune.” Azer, who was scheduled to present the report Thursday at the Brewbound Session beer industry conference in San Diego, was unavailable for comment. Brewbound first reported on Cowen’s study with an article earlier this week. Cowen’s report, which utilizes scan and point-of-sales data from The Nielsen Company, notes that sales volume of “below-premium” beers (think Busch and Natty Light) is down 2.4 percent year-to-date in the three highlighted pot states; “premium domestic” beers (your Bud Lights and Coors Lights) are down 4.4 percent year-to-date. Craft beer sales in Colorado, Oregon and Washington are flat, but under-performing the total U.S. craft sales by 9.5 percentage points, according to the report.

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