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Reproduced from Nielsen; Chart: Axios Visuals

Despite still being illegal at the federal level, marijuana is now legal for recreational use in 11 states and Washington D.C., and it's having an impact on a number of other businesses.

Why it matters: New data from market research firm Nielsen shows states that have legalized have also seen a notable pick-up in the consumption of what Nielsen calls "munchies," creating "big opportunities for the American food and beverage market—particularly for the snack and confectionery category."

What they're saying: "Within the U.S., Nielsen data shows that sales of both salty and sweet snacks have increased over the past 52 weeks (ending April 27, 2019) with salty snacks reaching sales of $29.9 billion and sweet snacks hitting sales of $6.5 billion."

  • Further, Nielsen notes, "Edible hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) products, which include the cannabinoid compound found in marijuana with little to no THC, present a $6 billion opportunity for the food and beverage industry."
  • The compound annual growth rate — a number representing the rate at which an investment would have grown if it grew the same rate every year and profits were reinvested each year — has grown demonstrably faster in legal recreational marijuana states than it has in those where it is still illegal.

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