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California begins legal recreational marijuana sales in 2018 and along with that, there are a host of questions about exactly how the system will work and the rules people need to follow.
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Knowing marijuana smokers can get serious hunger pangs, one fast-food chain is looking to take advantage of the start of California’s legalization of pot for recreational use.

San Diego-based Jack in the Box plans will sell a weed-themed Merry Munchie Meal at three southern California locations in mid-January.

In November 2016, Californians approved Proposition 64, which legalized sales of recreational marijuana for adults starting Monday, the beginning of the new year.

The limited-time offer is in partnership with cannabis lifestyle website Merry Jane — itself an allusion to marijuana’s “mary jane” nickname — backed by rapper and TV game-show host Snoop Dogg.

The meal will be tested Jan. 18-25 at select Jack in the Box locations in Long Beach, Snoop’s hometown. 

The meal box, part of Jack in the Box’s late-night menu, has half-servings of curly fries and onion rings, two tacos, five mini churros, three crispy chicken strips and a small drink. The price is $4.20 — April 20, or 4/20, is “Weed Day” — plus tax.

“We are about welcoming all of our guests, no matter what they’re craving or why they’re craving it,” Chief Marketing Officer Iwona Alter said in a statement.

More: Jack in the Box sells struggling Qdoba for $305 million

More: Pot initiatives: Predicting the next 15 states to legalize marijuana

More: Legal marijuana arriving in California after decades of underground dealing

Jack in the Box is hoping to create a buzz that will elevate the brand.

“They’re going to leap upon anything they can. It’s an occasion. Why not?” said Robert Passikoff, founder of Brand Keys, a New York-based brand research consultancy. “The brand generates the kind of audience that won’t be offended by it.”

Sixty-four percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, according to a Harris Poll conducted in October.

While General Mill’s frozen pizza brand Totino’s has occasionally posted billboards suggesting people who are stoned should eat pizza rolls, don’t expect pot-related fast-food meals to become a trend.

“McDonald’s won’t do it. Burger King won’t do it,” Passikoff said. “Jack in the Box has nothing to lose by doing this. But a major brand would never do it, because they would be afraid of backlash from people who don’t have open minds about marijuana and drug culture.”

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More pregnant women are using pot to ease nausea of morning sickness or heightened anxiety. Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more.
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Founded in 1951, Jack in the Box is a regional brand with more than 2,200 restaurants.

The chain announced Dec. 19 that it was selling its beleaguered Mexican fast-casual brand Qdoba to publicly-traded investment group Apollo Global Management for approximately $305 million.

Shares of Jack in the Box were down about 1% Friday morning at $98.66.

Contributing: Trevor Hughes

Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

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