Shocker!: Legalized Marijuana Has Led to Higher Sales at Fast Food Restaurants

Marijuana and the munchies. Can you name a more iconic duo? And while there may be some debate about whether consuming cannabis products can actually cause "the munchies," there is proof that marijuana legalization has benefited one sector of the food industry: Fast food.

According to a study by Green Market Report, areas with legalized marijuana had more people visiting fast food restaurants than places where it's still illegal. The biggest benefactors from legalized marijuana were McDonald's and Taco Bell. 43.4 percent of cannabis consumers said they'd visited a McDonald's in the past month, while 18.3 percent said they'd gone to a Taco Bell.

“McDonald’s wins by virtue of the sheer number of locations – by default really,” said Jeff Stein, Vice President of Consumer Research Around Cannabis. “Those competitors which better understanding cannabis users and their consumer habits can certainly close the gap by integrating what they learn through their marketing efforts.”

Most fast food restaurants in legalized marijuana markets also saw greater business than areas where it's illegal. McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King all saw greater sales in legalized markets. But Taco Bell was the big winner, getting 43 percent more business in legalized marijuana areas vs. non-legalized.  

Wait until marijuana legalization hits the South. Chick-Fil-A will skyrocket to the top of this list then. Heck, they might even have to start opening on Sundays!


The city of Lawrence, Kansas, is looking to make it so that a marijuana possession fine costs less than a cup of coffee for first and second time offenders. The proposed $1 possession fine would replace their current $200 penalty, as well as a $63 court fee. Those charged under the current regulations also have to undergo a court evaluation, which comes with additional costs.

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