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Maine and marijuana: Sales of pot for recreational use start Friday

Customers lined up for the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in Michigan. A handful of shops started selling on Sunday. (Dec. 2) AP Domestic

If you want to smoke pot in Maine, you can now buy it legally.

Sales of marijuana for recreational use began Friday in the state, one of 11 that have made it legal for adults, 21 and older, to possess small amounts for non-medical purposes. Washington D.C. has also legalized the recreational use of weed.

Like in Maine, where voters gave the green light to recreational pot use in November, 2016, the time span between marijuana becoming legal and actually going on sale can be long. Legislatures often spend the interim months ironing out the details – from establishing rules for sellers, to sometimes overcoming the objections of their governors.

Here’s when the recreational use of weed became legal in various jurisdictions, and when it actually became available for purchase.

Jackie Ryan, right, of Forest Park, Ill., becomes the first person in Illinois to purchase recreational marijuana as she purchases marijuana products from employee Brea Mooney left, at Sunnyside dispensary Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty) (Photo: Paul Beaty, AP)

Alaska – Voters okayed recreational use in 2014. Pot went on sale legally in October, 2016.

California – Voters gave the green light to a ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016. Legal sales of recreational weed began in December 2017.

Colorado – Recreational marijuana was legalized by voters in 2012. Legal sales of weed for recreational purposes began in January, 2014.

Illinois – Recreational marijuana was legalized in 2019. It was available for sale starting in January 2020.

Maine – Voters approved legal recreational use of weed in November, 2016. Sales began Friday.

Massachusetts – The state’s voters gave the greenlight to use of pot recreationally in 2016. It went on sale legally in November, 2018.

Michigan- In 2018 voters okayed the recreational use of weed. Legal pot sales began in December, 2019.

Nevada – Voters approved recreational marijuana use in 2016. Sales launched in July, 2017.

Oregon – Recreational marijuana was approved by voters in 2014. It went on sale legally in October, 2015.

Vermont – Vermont’s legislature legalized the use of weed for recreational purposes in January, 2018.

Washington – Voters approved recreational marijuana in 2012. Pot went on sale in July 2014.

Washington D.C. – Voters approved recreational marijuana in 2014.

Sources: USA TODAY research. The Marijuana Policy Project

Follow Charisse Jones on Twitter @charissejones

Sales of marijuana for recreational use began Friday in Maine, one of eleven states that have made it legal for adults to possess small amounts