By Katie Zezima

Vermont has become the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana legislatively.

Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed a bill Monday legalizing marijuana for adults age 21 and older. It allows for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, as well as two mature and four immature plants. Vermont becomes the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, but the other states did so through ballot initiatives.

Vermont’s law also is notable for what it does not do: create a state marketplace for sales of the drug.

Instead, Scott has directed a marijuana advisory board to study what is needed to implement a legal marketplace in which marijuana is taxed and regulated, with plans to report findings to the governor by Dec. 15. Scott is concerned about sales in the state and what he believes are weak penalties for those who sell the drug to minors.

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