Legal Pot Sales Help Junk Food Sales

Anyone who has ever tried weed knows what it feels like to get the munchies. Constant hunger after emptying the fridge thrice is a guaranteed path to obesity, but surprisingly, science reveals that marijuana actually prevents weight gain. While researchers figure out this conundrum, one fact is clear: McDonald’s is making a lot of money from people in legal states constantly having the munchies.

A study, conducted jointly by Green Market Report and Consumer Research around Cannabis, found 43 percent of people buying recreational pot in the last month choosing McDonald’s as their munchie-satisfying fast food outlet. Taco Bell is profiting from 18.3 percent of them, with 17.8 percent preferring Wendy’s and 17.6 percent loyal to Burger King.

For the study, researchers analyzed fast food sales in Sacramento, California and Portland, Oregon, as well as statewide junk food statistics in Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. All of these locations have legalized the giggle twig, and although a link between pot use and craving Big Mac burgers specifically is unlikely, McDonalds is able to take advantage of the munchies epidemic.

“McDonald’s wins by virtue of the sheer number of locations, by default really,” explains the vice president of Consumer Research around Cannabis, Jeff Stein. “Those competitors which better understand cannabis users and their consumer habits can certainly close the gap by integrating what they learn through their marketing efforts.”

These trends are nothing new. That is the opinion of Serge Christov, a financial advisor for Honest Marijuana in Colorado. It is just easier now to study consumer behavior, particularly pot sales, as people use it in an “organized, taxable, clean environment.” Christov believes that other industries, particularly home shopping and video games, will see a boom in profits with legalization, as well.

However, even in Colorado, which has been the foremost leader of innovation in the cannabis industry, public smoking restrictions limit the spread of riches somewhat. Christov thinks that Dutch-style cannabis coffee shops would combat the monopoly, especially now that pot enjoys more “social acceptability.” He posits, “Just like in a college bar, you could get some coffee or hot cocoa and smoke a joint.”

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