Big beer is concerned about the growing legal cannabis industry.
Molson Coors Brewing cited the spread of legal marijuana as a risk to its business in its annual financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. Instead of drinking beer, people may increasingly smoke and eat pot.
“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,” the filing says.
Several other larger beer companies have made similar statements, including Boston Beer, the parent brand of Sam Adams, and Craft Brew Alliance, the makers of Kona and Omission beer. Constellation Brands, the owners of Corona and other alcohol brands recently made a large investment in the marijuana industry.
For a bit of perspective, marijuana was just one of 40 “risk factors” that Molson Coors, maker of Blue Moon, Crispin Cider, and Miller Light listed in its regulatory filing. Other concerns included climate change, potential loss of key personnel, and the cost of being forced to move to returnable bottles in Canada.