“Dry January” Sees Cannabis Sales Increase, Especially Among Younger Consumers

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Reflecting shifting consumption habits among young adults, alcohol sales decline as cannabis-infused beverages gain popularity as a substitute.

During the first month of the year, alcohol—once under prohibition in the US—is increasingly being substituted with beverages containing cannabis, a substance currently under its own prohibition.

Dry January, observed by some as a month to abstain from alcohol consumption, has potentially led to an increase in cannabis-infused beverages as an alternative (1). Reportedly, during January 2024, alcohol sales in the US dropped by more than half in the first week of the year, the greatest decline since 2020 (1). At the same time, a third of adults ages 21–24 and a fourth of adults ages 25 –34 turned to cannabidiol (CBD) products as a replacement for alcohol (1). "Anecdotally, we have a lot of people coming into our dispensaries that are saying they are not drinking for January and therefore they're now upping their cannabis purchases," said Curaleaf Holdings CEO Matt Darin, in a report from Bloomberg (1). One Gallup report from 2023 offered more insight into the general habits of young drinking-age Americans: the number of people under age 35 who consume alcohol has fallen 10% in the past decade (2).


A shift in buying and consumption habits seems to be influencing the products companies are starting to offer. Alcohol and cannabis companies alike are increasingly offering their cannabis-infused beverages to appeal to more customers and the market has been growing recently (3). “Many people are familiar with drinking alcohol socially, so having a parallel format like cannabis beverages can easily substitute what they’re used to whether it’s Dry January or year round,” explained Jesse Tolz, VP of Marketing for cannabis dispensary The Travel Agency (3). Partly contributing to the rise in cannabis consumption is its perception as being safer than alcohol (3).

Even with the restricted ability to advertise, businesses report seeing increasing sales of their cannabis beverages (3).

Related: Read about cannabis sales trends during holiday seasons and in a state with a newly established recreational market.


  1. Paxhia, M. Dry January can boost weed sales: This Week in cannabis investing (accessed Feb 14, 2024).
  2. A New Report Sheds Light on Millennial and Gen Z Drinking Behaviors — Plus Who (and What) Influences Buying Decisions. Wine Industry Advisor. October 18, 2023.
  3. Barkho, G. Cannabis Beverage Brands capitalized on Dry January interest (accessed Feb 14, 2024).