People in Colorado, Oregon and Washington have been consuming more potato chips, cookies and ice cream since marijuana became legal in those states, according to a study published by the Social Science Research Network.

The study, undertaken by researchers from the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University, indicates an aggregate 5.3 percent increase in the sale of chips in the three states after the legalization of marijuana. Cookie sales climbed 4.1 percent. The combined ice cream purchases in the three states also saw a 3.1 percent increase after marijuana was legalized.

"The increase in sales starts at the time of the legislation becomes effective," the results of the study indicate.

Purchases of ice cream and chips dipped slightly after, but not for cookies. 

"These might seem like small numbers," Michael Baggio, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Connecticut, said. "But they’re statistically significant and economically significant as well."

While scientists say that inner workings of the apparently marijuana-induced cravings are still not known, they are only a small indication of the broader economic implications of legalized cannabis. 

Voters in Colorado and Washington chose to legalize recreational use of cannabis in 2012. Oregon passed a law to allow the recreational use of the herb in 2015.

The Denver Post reports that a legalized and regulated cannabis industry allowed Colorado a significant increase in tax revenues. In 2017, the state collected at least $71 million from recreational marijuana through local taxes and the "share-backs" provided by the state.

The marijuana enterprises of Denver and Aurora -- the biggest players in Colorado's cannabis industry -- are likely to have earned the state some $36 million in tax revenues last year.

Ten states across the U.S. have legalized recreational marijuana. They are all optimistic about the potential tax revenues they might earn from the industry. This early, analysts see the market for marijuana expanding beyond earlier calculations. 

The New Frontier Data, a marijuana industry research, advocacy and analysis organization, estimates the market for cannabis in the 10 states could amount to $25 billion by 2025.

The organization says the full legalization of cannabis in all 50 states across the U.S. would provide new jobs for a million people within six years.

"Full legalization would result in more legal businesses entering the market, more consumers participating in the legal market, and more employees on official payrolls, resulting in $3.3 billion in payroll taxes," according to the New Frontier Data's website.

"By 2025, payroll deductions would increase to $5.3 billion."