A cooperative initiative between drinks market analysis company IWSR and BDS Analytics has released a report that shows the growth of marijuana use could affect the US alcohol business.

The report finds 45% of millennial consumers are dualists’ who consume both cannabis and alcohol and suggests alcoholic drink companies need to prepare to meet consumers’ needs as the market expands.

The report, ‘Beverage Alcohol, Cannabis and the Changing U.S. Consumer: What are the Real Risks and Opportunities to Consumption Behaviour?’  found that 37% of alcohol drinkers in legal cannabis states also consume cannabis and the statistic is expected to grow as the acceptance of marijuana increases.

It also showed that on average the cannabis and alcohol dualists are more likely to drink beer and spirits compared with wine drinkers.

Cannabis consumption has increased in recent years with ten states approving its use as a recreational drug and 34 states approving it for medical purposes.

BDS Analytics vice-president Jessica Lukas said: “Our research shows that up to 40% of adults 21 and over consumes cannabis in states where it’s legal. Cannabis presents substantial opportunities across consumer industries, including new occasions that alcohol cannot and will not play.

“Consumers will continue to look to cannabis products over alcohol for occasions when they are feeling creative, need to get motivated, or seeking health, medical or wellness benefits.”

IWSR US president Brandy Rand said: “Though not yet mainstream, cannabis adoption is certainly growing in states where it’s legal and does pose a risk to the beverage alcohol industry in the future.

“It’s important that alcohol brands pay attention to their consumers, recognizing that some occasions may result in a decrease in alcohol consumption in place of, or alongside, legal cannabis.”