ST. PAUL (AP) - The state of Minnesota has begun taking applications from entrepreneurs interested in opening medical cannabis manufacturing facilities.

And the potential applicants include members of the family that owns Bachman's Inc., the Minneapolis-based chain of floral and garden shops.

Company spokeswoman Karen Bachman says that several family members are interested, but that Bachman's as a company is not.

Garden Fresh Farms of Maplewood says it's also interested.

The Legislature has authorized two facilities to grow medical marijuana and process it into non-smokable drugs for patients who suffer from a limited list of conditions.

Potential investors must pay a $20,000 nonrefundable fee just to apply.

The two companies that are chosen will have less than a year to get their operations up and running before patients begin lining up next July 1.