- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 6, 2018

Legalization of recreational marijuana has affected culture. In Colorado, event planners now craft weed-friendly parties while local symphonies have offered concerts suited to stoned audiences. In California, the popular menu has been affected.

Fast food chain Jack in the Box now plans to offer “Munchie Meals,” described by Adweek as “a happy meal, but for adults who like to smoke weed.” For their creative packaging and outreach, the restaurant franchise has partnered with Merry Jane — a weed-focused digital media company founded three years ago by singer Snoop Dogg.

And the menu? Jack in the Box mined its own late-night offerings to come up with the fare. The Munchie Meal box will contain two tacos, five mini churros, three crispy chicken strips, a serving of half curly fries and half regular fries and a small soft drink, priced around $4. The meals will be sold in select California locations later this month.

In the meantime, retailers who offer legal marijuana and its many related products or accessories have organized. The National Cannabis Industry Association now has 1,500 members.

As the Justice Department weighs out reinforcing federal laws which still deem marijuana a narcotic, others claim weed as an economic fuel. Arcview Market Research, which specializes in gauging the growth of the industry, predicts that the total economic output from legal cannabis will grow 150 percent from $16 billion in 2017 to $40 billion in three years.

The group also says legal marijuana will create 414,000 jobs and over $4 billion in tax receipts — citing total economic contribution, direct and indirect jobs created, and tax receipts generated in each of the 35 states they predict will have medical or adult-use legality by 2021.

“The numerous employment opportunities created by the cannabis industry, especially in states that are legalizing adult use, cross the spectrum from retail and service jobs to science, technology and other traditional professions. Voters have noticed, and now legislators are waking up to the opportunities,” said principal analyst Tom Adams.

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