11/06/2014 09:20 am ET Updated Jan 06, 2015

With Alaska Voters Signing off on Legal Pot, Road to Regulation Begins

Alaska voters on Tuesday might have been the fourth state in the nation to approve recreational marijuana legalization, but residents will still have to wait before being able to use legally.

Alaska followed Oregon and Washington D.C. in passing initiatives on Election Day legalizing recreational marijuana. Championed by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, the newly passed Ballot Measure 2 will tax and regulate the substance in a manner similar to alcohol, allowing sales to only those 21 years of age and older. It will tax the substance at $50 per ounce wholesale. Washington state and Colorado both passed similar legalization measures in 2012.

When will people be able to legally possess and transport marijuana? Likely at the end of February, according to Cynthia Franklin, director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Initiatives do not become law until 90 days after the election is certified, which is tentatively set to happen Nov. 28, Franklin said.

But, Franklin warned, "Until that 90-day window has passed, those criminal statutes are still full force in effect."