PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The number of cities and towns opting in to legalized marijuana is slowly growing in Maine as the state gets closer to accepting applications for licenses.

Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill in late June that sets up a legal framework for recreational sales. The state Office of Marijuana Policy plans to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana business licenses by the end of the year.

A spokesman for the office says 15 municipalities have opted into adult use marijuana. Those cities and towns have decided to authorize businesses that grow, process, test or sell marijuana. Not all of the municipalities have decided to get on board with retail marijuana sales, which could start by early 2020.

Maine voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana in a 2016 public vote.

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