Cannabis and the Wine Industry

Friends, as some of you know, I also dabble in wine law (my firm is a leader in the area, and it’s how I ended up in Napa).  Every year, Silicon Valley Bank, one of the major lenders to the wine industry, puts out its State of the Industry Report, led by Rob McMillan, and the 2019 report just dropped (link).  It makes for fun reading if you’re a huge wine nerd like me or have any interest in the business of wine, although a warning that it’s a lot of insider baseball. 

Why am I sharing an insider report on the state of the wine industry in a spam-ish email about the Cannabis industry?  Turn (okay, scroll) to page 38, wherein Rob discusses Cannabis and its effect on the wine market.  I’ve written about the intersection between alcohol and Cannabis before (see my blog!*and blog!)**, but Rob does a much better and professional job of presenting things like facts and making connections to the trends in the wine market (particularly with respect to millennials).  I like his conclusion that it’s too early to tell, but Cannabis “isn’t helping wine consumption”.  This is something that alcohol industry giants are positioning for, figuring out ways to play that don’t violate Federal law and risk licensing (see again my blog! and my article!). 

My point?  Many more people read Rob’s excellent Report and his excellent blog! than my unsolicited ramblings (not a high bar).  Maybe 2019 will be the year that the wine industry will also start to move into Cannabis (some ideas: article!).


*I’m still quite proud of the alliteration in this one.

**Shameless plug: I’ll be speaking again at the 2019 Wine & Weed Symposium in August on this topic (link), as well as at the Cannabis Drinks Expo in July (link).

Written by: Marc Hauser