The state has begun accepting applications from nonprofit corporations that want to open Maine’s first marijuana dispensaries.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced today it has set up rules for selecting dispensaries under Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act. The rules also outline the registration process for prospective patients, patient rights, provider responsibilities and other requirements.  Both the rules and the dispensary application materials are available at www.maine.gov/dhhs/dlrs

The state will select eight dispensaries based on a variety of requirements, including nonprofit operating plans, location, prior business experience, patient education, record-keeping, inventory, quality control, security and staffing. It costs $15,000 to apply, although those not selected will get $14,000 back.

Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. June 25 and award announcements will be made July 9.