Are" Gen Z" Ditching Alcohol for Weed?

Liz Filmer
24 Apr 2024

Las Vegas entertainment hosts are witnessing a substantial decrease in Gen Z clientele (born between 1997-2012) drinking alcohol but showing an overall increase in cannabis use by younger consumers.

Las Vegas-based promoter, Patrick Trout recently told Las Vegas Weekly his views on the trend of Gen Z drinking less alcohol. " in the last year, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in people not drinking at shows or drinking non-alcoholic stuff, but then simultaneously also wanting to smoke more. We are seeing a generational, cultural shift.”

A 2023 Billboard article, also cited a shift in alcohol consumption when businesses reopened their doors after the pandemic. 

Some researchers believe that this is partially because people drink alcohol before arriving at a bar or entertainment venue in an attempt to save money on a night out.

Are More People Choosing Cannabis?

A New Frontier Data report from 2022 revealed that 69% of those between 18-24 have a preference towards cannabis over alcohol, while the same is seen with 70% of 25-34-year-olds, 68% of those aged 35-44, 55% of people aged 45-54, 52% of 55-64-year-olds, and 44% of 65-74-year-olds.

It would seem looking at these figures that cannabis is becoming noticeably preferred over alcohol.  More people are aware of cannabis and are very open about their cannabis-smoking habits.

Nevada’s first consumption lounge, Smoke and Mirrors opened in February and was designed in the style of listening cafes found in Japan and New York which only offer non-alcoholic drink menus. There has been a buzz surrounding this new culture of non-alcoholic spirits and bars dedicated to that and it ties in perfectly with cannabis lounges.

whilst it's not expected that bong service will replace bottle service
 it would appear that offering both services is the best way to go.

While Nevada state law currently prevents cannabis businesses from selling alcohol, and vice versa, Plans are afoot at Las Vegas's Planet 13 venue that would allow customers to walk from the consumption lounge when it closes to their club venue next door and enjoy the best of both worlds. 

It's also exciting to see how consumption lounges could alter the music scene.

 “One thing I’m interested to see with the pot lounges that decide to utilize live music is seeing what the spread is, what genres they go after. There are some subgenres of metal where I think it would appeal to them to have a place like that where you can smoke and watch music.” - Las Vegas-based promoter, Patrick Trout.

There are reportedly 38 more cannabis consumption lounge license holders currently in the stages of putting their businesses together.

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Liz Filmer