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The Latest: Over 70 CA shops licensed to sell retail pot

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Latest on recreational marijuana sales in California (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

More than six dozen marijuana retailers have been licensed to start selling recreational pot in California on New Year’s Day.

In this Dec. 22, 2017 photo, Dale Gieringer of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) poses for photos at his house in Berkeley, Calif. Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The start of legal retail cannabis sales on Monday comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the first medical marijuana law in the U.S.

Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, says the agency has been working through the weekend to process as many licenses as possible. He says licenses will also be issued on New Year’s Day.

The agency so far has issued more than 300 licenses statewide for marijuana distributors, retailers and cultivators.

In Sacramento, the state’s capital, at least four shops have received licenses to being selling recreational, adult-use marijuana starting Monday morning.

____

9:30 a.m.

Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a stronger-than-normal whiff of marijuana as America’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the state’s first legal retail pot sales.

The historic day Monday comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the first medical marijuana law in the U.S., though other states were quicker to allow recreational use of the drug.

But finding legal pot may be a challenge in the first days of recreational sales in California. Only about six dozen businesses received state licenses to open on New Year’s Day. Shops are expected to be open from the hamlet of Shasta Lake south of Oregon to San Diego.

Will Senn says anticipation is high, and he expects a crowd at his Urbn Leaf shop in San Diego.

In this Dec. 22, 2017 photo, Dale Gieringer of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) poses for photos at his house in Berkeley, Calif. Californians may awake on New Year's Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation's cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

In this Dec. 22, 2017 photo, Dale Gieringer of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) poses for photos at his house in Berkeley, Calif. Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

In this Dec. 22, 2017 photo, Dale Gieringer of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) poses for photos at his house in Berkeley, Calif.. Californians may awake on New Year's Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation's cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

In this Dec. 22, 2017 photo, Dale Gieringer of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) poses for photos at his house in Berkeley, Calif.. Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo pedestrians walk past MedMen a marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Californians may awake on New Year's Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation's cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. The historic day comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the first medical marijuana law in the U.S., though other states were quicker to allow recreational use of the drug. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo pedestrians walk past MedMen a marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. The historic day comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the first medical marijuana law in the U.S., though other states were quicker to allow recreational use of the drug. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

This Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 photo Triple J's mini cannabis cigarettes in decorative metal containers are displayed at MedMen a marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Californians may awake on New Year's Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation's cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. The historic day comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the first medical marijuana law in the U.S., though other states were quicker to allow recreational use of the drug. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

This Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 photo Triple J’s mini cannabis cigarettes in decorative metal containers are displayed at MedMen a marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. The historic day comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the first medical marijuana law in the U.S., though other states were quicker to allow recreational use of the drug. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, a customer browses a selection of marijuana products displayed at MedMen a marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles . Californians may awake on New Year's Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation's cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. The historic day comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the first medical marijuana law in the U.S., though other states were quicker to allow recreational use of the drug. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE – In this Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, a customer browses a selection of marijuana products displayed at MedMen a marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles . Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a familiar scent in greater-than-normal concentrations. A whiff of marijuana will likely be in the air as the nation’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the first legal retail sales of pot in the state. The historic day comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the first medical marijuana law in the U.S., though other states were quicker to allow recreational use of the drug. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 photo sample containers of marijuana are on display at MedMen a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. California's legal pot market opens for business on Jan. 1. The day will be a milestone, but what exactly will happen then and, especially, in the weeks and months to come is unclear. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 photo sample containers of marijuana are on display at MedMen a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. California’s legal pot market opens for business on Jan. 1. The day will be a milestone, but what exactly will happen then and, especially, in the weeks and months to come is unclear. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

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