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California coming online for legal marijuana

Monday, October 09, 2017

California legalizationLegal marijuana’s El Dorado approaches, and fast food companies should rejoice.

Those are two bits of news Blue Moon Hemp has dug up this week.

Recreational marijuana legalization launches in three states next year, including the most massive market of them all, California. Massachusetts and Maine also expect to roll out recreational marijuana legalization. Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Nevada already have recreational marijuana retailers.

California, with its huge economy and population, will be by far the most important market for recreational marijuana. CNN reports:

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Maine approved legalization of recreational marijuana in referendum votes in November 2016, on the same day that Donald Trump was elected president. It typically takes at least a year for state officials to set up regulations for the industry.

The addition of California could grow nationwide sales to $24.1 billion by 2025, according to New Frontier Data, which tracks the cannabis industry. That’s compared to $6.6 billion in 2016.

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana, in 1996, and sales for that market are expected to total $2.76 billion this year. Opening the retail market will expand sales dramatically, to $3.8 billion in 2018, and to $6.6 billion in 2025, according to projections from New Frontier Data.

It also means the entire West Coast will be a free zone for retail marijuana as the industry gains its first legal markets on the East Coast. North America is going to grow even greener next year, because Canada is getting ready to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.

Meanwhile, as more states move toward full legalization, fast food restaurants and especially McDonald’s have reason to be happy, a new study shows. Madison.com reports:

According to a newly released analysis from Green Market Report and Consumer Research Around Cannabis, certain fast-food chains have been benefiting in a big way from a rise in cannabis usage. As some of you might know, increased appetite, or “the munchies,” are a common side effect of using marijuana.

Green Market Report, after accepting around 27,500 online surveys, found that over the past four weeks of its study, McDonald’s was, by far, the most popular destination of marijuana users. Over this four-week period, 43.4% of pot users had visited the Golden Arches, and that’s not something to grimace about. Despite the second-most popular fast-food chain changing from city to city in the survey, McDonald’s lead wasn’t challenged. 

Beyond McDonald’s, Yum Brands’ Taco Bell came in second, with 18.3%, Wendy’s was third, at 17.8%, and Burger King, owned by Restaurant Brands International, was fourth, at 17.6%. All of these results were notably higher for cannabis users than those folks who had not used marijuana over the previous four-week period. After Burger King, there was a pretty big drop-off between fifth and tenth, with Subway, KFC, Arby’s, Chick-Fil-A, Jack in the Box, and Carl’s Jr. rounding out the top 10, in that order.