Legal marijuana industry had banner year in 2018

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - (12-27-18) - The legal marijuana industry exploded in 2018, pushing its way further into the cultural and financial mainstream in the U.S. and beyond.

California became America's largest legal marketplace, while Canada became the second and largest country with nationwide legal recreational marijuana.

And Mexico's Supreme Court set the stage for that country to follow, while governors in New York and New Jersey say they want broad legalization in their states next year.

Overall, nearly two-thirds of U.S. states now have legalized some form of medical marijuana.

Investors have taken note and poured billions into cannabis ventures.

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who has pushed for legalization for decades, says 2018 was the year the movement crested. He's hopeful 2019 will bring progress on efforts to end the federal marijuana ban.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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