MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Oct. 17 deadline for businesses to request an application for a dispensary is quickly approaching and the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has already seen a lot of interest.

Commission Director John McMillan says they’ve received just over 380 applications, mostly from Jefferson and Madison Counties.

“It’s about what we were expecting. We have doubts that that many will actually complete the comprehensive application, but we’ll see. It’s a new venture,” McMillan said.

Once applications are sent out Oct. 24, businesses will have until Dec. 30 to complete them. Up for grabs: 12 licenses for cultivators, four for processors, four for dispensaries and five for integrated facilities.

Right now, according to the commission’s website, 19 municipalities have passed resolutions approving sales.

“I’m sure applicants are talking to city leadership, but yeah that’s an indicator that there’s a lot of interest and a lot of need for this quality medical product,” McMillan said.

Meanwhile, a new group just launched to be a voice for the industry. Patrick Lindsey is the Executive Director of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Association. He says he hopes the group will be a resource for both the state and those in the industry as it grows in Alabama.

“When you have an industry this size, they have to deal with so many different bodies. Join our association and we’ll have one voice for this industry as a positive voice for the industry instead of a thousand smaller ones,” Lindsey said.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission holds its next meeting Thursday.