A man rolls a joint during a demonstration demanding the approval of the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes in front of the Mexican Senate building in Mexico City on September 28, 2016. / AFP / PEDRO PARDO (Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

Pot policy experts: Legal California weed will bolster marijuana’s presence in U.S. Congress

With the passage of California’s Proposition 64 on Tuesday, the sixth-largest economy in the world just decided to legalize recreational weed.

In short: It’s a pretty big deal, industry advocates say.

“It is a huge part of the legal marijuana market in the U.S. right now, and it’s going to get substantially bigger now that it’s opened up to adult use,” says Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

On top of that, there will be the significant Congressional power the state wields, she adds.

“Because California is so large from a population standpoint, there are a lot of members of Congress who represent districts in California,” she says. “Now that they have this full adult-use legalization, the issues that we deal with at the federal level are going to be that much more important to them.”

West, alongside Brian Vicente, a partner with cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg, address the significance of California’s new recreational marijuana market with Cannabist editor-in-chief Ricardo Baca on The Cannabist Show.

“I think it’s one of those tipping-point moments,” Vicente says.

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