Cannabis became the hot topic of the Democratic National Convention this week, but that should not have come off as a surprise to anyone. Democratic officials, some of which were Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and his state’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, spoke with executives in the marijuana industry on Monday at a reception in downtown Philadelphia, just miles from the convention hall. A day before that, the Marijuana Policy Project set up a fundraiser to push the idea of legalization further around the country. It turns out that on Monday, convention delegates at the Hall supported a platform that advocated “reasoned pathway” for the legalization of cannabis.

“This is a very legitimate and very big industry,” Michael Bronstein, co-founder of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, which represents about 20 of the cannabis sector’s largest companies and co-sponsored a crowded weeknight party at bop, a Korean-styled bar, and restaurant, said.

“A necessary extension of a legitimate cannabis industry is for the industry to become politically involved,” he added, explaining why the group was in Philadelphia.

The quickly expanding market for legal cannabis is likely going to reach $6.7 billion in sales during 2016 after reaching $5.4 billion in 2015, ArcView Market Research reports. The use of marijuana for medical purposes has now been legalized in over half the country and has been legalized for recreational use in a few of those as well. Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon have all legalized recreational marijuana. In addition, it is also legal to have and grow marijuana in Washington D.C., but sales are prohibited.

“Marijuana legalization ranks with marriage equality as the two social issues that have evolved the most rapidly in public opinion,” Ethan Nadelman, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a co-sponsor of the reception, added.

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