host.madison.com – At the federal level, marijuana is a wholly illegal substance currently categorized as schedule I. As a schedule I drug, it has no recognized medical benefits, and is thusly considered to be just as dangerous as heroin or LSD.
However, in spite of this scheduling, legal weed is growing by leaps and bounds at the state level. In just 22 years, we’ve gone from having zero states being authorized to prescribe medical cannabis and sell recreational weed to 29 medical-legal and eight adult-use-legal states today. Organic growth within these legal states, along with the expectation that new states will look to legalize medical cannabis or recreational pot, is expected to boost legal U.S. weed sales by 300% to approximately $17 billion between 2016 and 2021, according to a report from Marijuana Business Daily that was released earlier this year.
As you might have rightly imagined, marijuana stocks have done particularly well over the past couple of years. After all, it’s not often you see industries consistently growing at 30% a year, give or take 5%. Businesses directly involved in the marijuana supply chain, such as growers, processors, and retailers, have all seemed to benefit. But they’re not alone.
These Golden Arches go green
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 (NYSE: MCD) 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.