How Legalizing Pot Is Creating a Widespread Case of the ‘Munchies’

The study linking marijuana legalization and increased junk food sales was conducted by Michele Baggio, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Connecticut with a PhD in agricultural and resource economics, and Alberto Chong, PhD, a professor at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Their work was published in the SSRN online repository (formerly Social Science Research Network).

They used monthly purchase data from the Nielsen Retail Scanner database that encompassed 2,000 counties in the United States and focused on cookies, chips, and ice cream from grocery, convenience, drug, and mass distribution stores.

Baggio and Chong compared the purchasing trends of those items when Colorado, Oregon, and Washington legalized recreational cannabis use.

Their analysis found legalization led to the following percentage increases:

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