The commission regulating recreational marijuana use in Oregon says it has approved licenses for 26 retailers around the state, meeting a key deadline almost two years after voters passed a ballot measure legalizing pot.

Steven Marks, executive director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, said on Friday that 12 of the 26 shops can start operating as soon as Saturday. October had been set as the month in which retail store licensing would start under an OLCC timeline.

Medical marijuana stores have been permitted to sell recreational marijuana since last October.

The retail shops are located in the Portland area, southern, central and western Oregon.

The commission has also licensed dozens of recreational producers and 10 testing laboratories.