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US: Four more states just legalised recreational cannabis

San Francisco (CNN Business)In a matter of hours on election night, recreational cannabis measures got the go-ahead in four more states: Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota.

That doesn't mean that people in those locations can legally buy weed for non-medical use just yet.

Although the moves at the ballot box further bolster the $19 billion US cannabis industry, the passages are early steps in an often complex and lengthy process.

History shows that it could take months or, in some cases, years for the first regulated sales to take place. It takes time to develop regulatory programs; establish testing, tracking and safety protocols; build supply chains; license operators; and, of course, grow the plants. And in two states, legal challenges have been filed against the ballot initiatives, meaning legalization efforts there could be potentially overturned.