In this Dec. 13, 2017, file photo, James MacWilliams prunes a marijuana plant that he is growing indoors in Portland, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — The first week of applications to open marijuana businesses in Maine has been busy.

The state started taking the applications on Dec. 5, and it has received 76 of them so far, according to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy. Thirty-eight of the applications are for retail stores, 27 are for cultivation facilities and 11 are for manufacturing facilities, the office said.

The facilities would need local approval from municipalities to be able to open.

Maine voters approved legal sales of marijuana for adult use in a November 2016 vote. The state has said it expects recreational marijuana to be available in stores by spring 2020. The roll-out of the marijuana program was long slowed by political squabbles.

Maine already has a longstanding medical marijuana program.