1. buseman
    The state's Department of Health and Human Services this week will begin reviewing the 29 applications submitted by 17 nonprofits looking to operate medical marijuana dispensaries.

    Among those who submitted applications, which were due Friday, are Glenn Peterson, former chair of the Poland Board of Selectmen, Portland attorney David Marchese and University of Maine at Fort Kent business professor Leo Trudel, according to the Portland Press Herald.

    Igor Rakuz, executive director of the Maine Wellness Group, said his organization is cooperating with the pharmaceutical college at the University of New England in Biddeford to operate a dispensary.

    Out of the state's eight public health districts, the York, Cumberland County and western Maine districts received the most applications with six each.

    Northeast Patients Group, an affiliate of California-based dispensary operator Berkeley Patients Group, submitted the most applications, seeking to operate dispensaries in five of the eight districts.

    Some applicants have received calls from out-of-state investors looking to help finance the dispensaries, leaving some in Maine questioning whether money generated by marijuana dispensaries would end up leaving the state, according to MaineToday Media.

    Applicants were required to be established as nonprofits and pay a $15,000 fee.

    DHHS will select applicants to receive a permit July 9, and will reopen applications for specific districts if no organization meets the requirements for a permit, according to the paper. Voters last November approved expanding the state's medical marijuana law.

    June 28, 2010


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