You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

McDonald's Just Found a Shocking New Way To Make Money (This Could Really Change Everything)

Inc. logo Inc. 9/30/2017 Chris Matyszczyk

Video by Veuer

"Wait, it's morning already?"

This came out of far left field.

I have a deep belief in unintended consequences.

Humans are wayward and the world is capricious. How can you possibly imagine that surprises won't hit you and, indeed, your business?

It seems, for example, that McDonald's, Taco Bell, and a number of other speed-food purveyors have lucked into a completely new market.

Legal marijuana users.

There has, researchers say, been a measurable increase in fast-food visitations in areas where marijuana is legal.

© Getty Images

One statistic might have you reaching for your own personal medication in order to calm down: 43 percent of legal stoners ate at a McDonald's in the last four weeks.

That's according to a study by Green Market Report and Consumer Research Around Cannabis.

Ronald must be turning from yellow to mellow at the very idea.

Eighteen percent of legal stoners went to Taco Bell and 17.8 percent went to Wendy's.

We might now pause to discuss the relative taste sensitivities of those who smoke pot.

Why would they prefer McDonald's to Taco Bell? Could it be that there are simply more McDonald's around and the munchies are so great that you go to the first place you can find?

Well, yes.

"McDonald's wins by virtue of the sheer number of locations--by default really," said Jeff Stein, vice president of Consumer Research Around Cannabis.

Still, he added that this wasn't necessarily going to be so easy for McDonald's in the future.

"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," he explained.

Of course, some fast-food chains might be perturbed.

KFC, Arby's, Chick-fil-A, Carl's Jr., and Jack in the Box don't seem to have attracted such high levels of the high.

This is especially surprising in Jack in the Box's case, as it was prescient in understanding the munchy trend and released several ads that for all the world looked like they were appealing directly to stoners.

Here's one of the classics.

What delight, though, for McDonald's.

The brand is busily trying to make itself over, as challengers with apparently fresher and healthier food chomp at its ankles.

How convenient for it that, with an increasing number of the happy wandering the streets in search of sustenance, it can become the local feeding station of the leaf-blown.

Sometimes you can win by just being there. Still, perhaps McDonald's can create some special concoctions for its burgeoning market.

Who can wait until it introduces the Quarter Stoner?

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


More from Inc.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon