1st Medical Marijuana Applications Due In Mass.

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Nine months after Massachusetts voters approved creation of a medical marijuana program, a key deadline has arrived for those interested in obtaining a license to dispense the drug.

Initial applications to operate nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries must be hand-delivered to the Department of Public Health on Thursday.

The law allows up to 35 dispensaries around the state to provide marijuana to patients with medical conditions such as cancer, Parkinson's Disease and AIDS.

During the first phase of a two-part process, applicants will undergo background checks and be screened for financial viability. They are not required to specify locations for proposed dispensaries.

Applicants must pay a $1,500 initial application fee. A $30,000 fee will be required for those advancing to the second and final phase of the application process.

This program aired on August 22, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.