BOSTON (AP) — More than 100 groups have applied to operate nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts, the state’s top public health official said Thursday.

The applicants are competing for a maximum of 35 licenses allowed under a law voters approved in November, which will make marijuana available to patients with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease and AIDS.

Prospective operators were required to hand-deliver initial applications to the Department of Public Health by 3 p.m. Thursday. Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett said officials were excited with the response.

‘‘We are glad that it was a highly competitive process and it will ensure patients’ access to the medical use of marijuana in the Commonwealth,’’ said Bartlett.