There is a buzz across the United States and it has nothing to do with the new year approaching. 

According to new research, legal marijuana was a $10.4 billion industry in the U.S. this pas year. 

Last month, Michigan became the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana. 

Here in the Carolina's, weed can still land you behind bars, but a local state representative is looking to change that using his platform to advocate for pot earlier today. 

Charlotte Representative Kelly Alexander Jr. drew a lot of laughs as he made another pot-endorsing plea in front of the state assembly on Thursday, but the politician was serious. 

RELATED: Asheville Prepping For Possible Marijuana Sales

RELATED: NC Lawmakers Meeting This Week on Marijuana Legalization

"The cannabis caucus will be open for business as we move into the next biennium. and I urge some of my colleagues from across the great divide to move into the 21st century with us," Alexander said. 

According to New Frontier Data, a leading cannabis market research firm, legal weed created a quarter of a million jobs devoted to handling the haze-inducing plant. 

The industry is expected to exceed $16 billion in 2019. 

Alexander is working on a bill that would have a local option approach to medical marijuana, the proposed legislation would be just like the local option we have with alcohol now. Counties that want in, can opt in. 

While 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana, nearly two thirds of the 33 states have legalized some form of medical marijuana. 

Both North and South Carolina allow restricted use of medical marijuana. 

RELATED: Marlboro Maker Enters Marijuana Business