State public health officials say 11 medical marijuana dispensaries have been cleared to move forward in Massachusetts.

The process has been on hold while the state worked to verify information provided in the applications of 20 companies that were initially cleared for licenses in January.

Karen Van Unen, head of the state's medical marijuana program, said the 11 dispensaries cleared the enhanced investigation process but will still be subjected to final inspections before they are granted final operating licenses. Nine others were rejected, including proposals for Fairhaven and Taunton.

Van Unen said the first dispensaries could open by November. She said 97 percent of Massachusetts residents will live within 30 miles of one of the 11.

The voter approved law allows up to 35 dispensaries in Massachusetts to grow and sell marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions.