To outsiders, the cannabis industry might seem like a mysterious machine. The myriad regulatory rules, the constantly changing legalities, and the complicated distribution practices make this business confusing and a bit unwieldy. And yet, in California’s fledgling legal market, cannabis is flourishing.
With more than eleven hundred acres of permitted cannabis farms in the state, some expect to see California cannabis become a $5 billion industry this year or next. It’s a notable statistic, considering sales of the plant for recreational use only became legal here in 2018.
For brewers, cannabis’ rapid growth has become potential cause for concern. Some fear the expanding use and social acceptance of recreational weed — be it in vape, flower, edible or concentrated form — could one day soon cut into beer’s market share.
It’s a topic Teagan Thompson is well acquainted with. Thompson spent 7 years in marketing for Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco before making the jump to a concentrated cannabis start-up called Space Coyote several months ago. After working through the most recent craft beer boom, she’s now poised to experience cannabis as it explodes in popularity too.
Zack Ruskin, a freelance cannabis journalist in San Francisco, stands ready to document that growth. He spends days conversing with new cannabis companies and testing strains for the curious consumer. He also highlights the growing pains of a blossoming industry.
Will cannabis become a threat to beer? Or can they work together? Let’s hash it out.
This is Teagan Thompson, Chief of Marketing for Space Coyote, and cannabis journalist Zack Ruskin. Listen in.