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Connecticut has approved nine more medical cannabis dispensaries, doubling the number of shops in the state, reports the Associated Press.

The state’s program has been “thoughtfully expanded” to 18 licensed dispensaries since its launch in 2012, according to Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull. The department received a total of 73 applications this year.

There are more than 30,000 approved medical marijuana patients in Connecticut, according to officials. Thirty-one medical conditions currently qualify adult patients for cannabis.

Democratic Governor-elect, Ned Lamont, said he expects recreational cannabis legalization to be a priority in the new legislative session, which begins in January. Lamont campaigned in favor of legalization during the election, reports The Washington Times.

The first recreational cannabis shops in neighboring Massachusetts opened in November.

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