ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Health says it has received 29 letters of intent from people interested in growing medical marijuana under the state's new program.

Friday was the deadline for companies to submit a letter of intent. Applications are due October 3rd.

Two manufacturers will be selected in December. Potential investors must pay a $20,000 nonrefundable fee just to apply.

The Legislature has directed the state Health Department to pick two facilities to grow medical marijuana and process it into non-smokeable drugs for patients who suffer from serious conditions such as AIDS, cancer or multiple sclerosis.

Minnesota won't start giving medical marijuana to patients until at least July 2015.