A new study found that when marijuana users seek out fast food they tend to prefer McDonald’s over Taco Bell, Burger King, or other chains.
Let’s be clear, not all marijuana enthusiasts eat fast food. But for those who do, the golden arches seem to be their preferred choice. Green Market Report has just released the results of a study that examined the fast food preferences of marijuana users in states where recreational use is legal.
“We found that 43% of people who bought legal marijuana chose McDonald’s [over a four week period] as their go-to place to eat fast food when experiencing the munchies,” Green Market Report’s Cynthia Salarizadeh wrote.
Taco Bell came in a distant second place, with 18% of marijuana users citing it as their go-to choice for fast food. Wendy’s came in third place with 17.8% and Burger King was just behind it with 17.6%.
Perhaps marijuana users are propelling the current market resurgence McDonald’s is experiencing. CNBC reports that McDonald’s shares are up 27% this year. That is a massive number when considering how large McDonald’s already is.
But just because marijuana fans end up at McDonald’s locations, it does not mean they do not like the other chains.
“McDonald’s wins by virtue of the sheer number of locations – by default really,” said Jeff Stein, Vice President of Consumer Research Around Cannabis.
McDonald’s has over 14,000 restaurants in the United States, about three times as many as Taco Bell. Burger King has approximately 7,000 U.S. locations.
However, the number of locations may not be the only explanation for McDonald’s popularity with marijuana users. Subway has the most locations of all fast food chains in the United States with over 23,000 restaurants. But only 8.7% in the study reported eating at a Subway restaurant in a four week span.
Eight states have already approved the legal use of recreational marijuana. More are expected to join this list, possibly creating an even more lucrative market for McDonald’s. Could McDonald’s become the newest and largest corporation to join the marijuana reform movement? It may be in their bests interest to do so.