PORTLAND, Ore. — The last year was a 12-month champagne toast for the legal marijuana industry as the global market exploded and cannabis pushed its way further into the financial and cultural mainstream.
Liberal California became the largest legal U.S. marketplace, while conservative Utah and Oklahoma embraced medical marijuana. Canada ushered in broad legalization, and Mexico’s Supreme Court set the stage for that country to follow.
U.S. drug regulators approved the first marijuana-based pharmaceutical to treat kids with a form of epilepsy, and billions of investment dollars poured into cannabis companies. Even main street brands like Coca-Cola said they are considering joining the party.