Study Suggests Stoners Are Simply Lovin’ McDonald’s Over All Other Fast Food
In a survey of over 25,000 fast food-consuming cannabis users in legal weed states, nearly half said they had visited the Golden Arches sometime in the past month to satisfy their munchies craving.
Published on September 28, 2017

When the munchies come knocking, sometimes there just isn’t enough time to cook. So where do stoners go when the hunger is too much to bare? According to a new bit of research, cannabis consumers fall right in line with the rest of the world, seeking out the nearest Golden Arches whenever it’s time to fill their stomachs.

According to a collaborative study from Green Market Report and Consumer Research Around Cannabis, when it comes to consumers of both state-approved legal weed and fast food, McDonald’s is far and away the most popular munchies dispensary, with 43% of the 27,000 survey respondents popping in to visit Ronald and friends for their fast food fix sometime within the last four weeks.

In fact, stoners are lovin’ it over at McDonald’s so much that the next closest competitor, Taco Bell, accounted for only 18% of the cannabis consumer market, with Wendy’s and Burger King coming in at 17.8% and 17.6% respectively to round out the top four. 

To try and get an accurate picture of legal weed customers and their purchasing habits across the country, researchers focused on large, cannabis legal metro hubs like Denver, Las Vegas, Portland, Sacramento and Washington DC. Even taking regional differences into account, though, Big Macs and Doritos Locos Tacos have 420-friendly fans on both coasts, and everywhere in between.

In California, where every fast food aficionado will quickly extol the wonders of the ubiquitous local chain In-N-Out, a Double-Double is nowhere to be found on the list, with both Carl’s Jr. and Jack in the Box receiving more orders than anything served Animal Style.

At the top spot, though, Jeff Stein, Vice President of Consumer Research Around Cannabis, will readily admit that, like any other segment of the population’s fast food preferences, McDonald’s came out on top thanks simply to their always extending and ever present reach.

“McDonald’s wins by virtue of the sheer number of locations – by default really,” Stein said. “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.”

Of course, Ronald and a few of his competitors have already dipped their toes into stoner-specific advertising, with both Taco Bell and Jack in the Box using subtle hints and blatant overtones to try and attract tokers.

With nearly half of the fast food munchies market already under their belt, though, we’re guessing that one billboard is enough, and McDonald’s isn’t going to send the Hamburgler on a Denver dispensary tour to drum up more business. But for the likes of Burger King and Wendy’s, maybe a few more high concept advertisements in states like California and Colorado would bump their share in the rapidly growing, and always hungry, legal cannabis consumer market.

Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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