As Maryland's cannabis industry consolidates and grows more competitive, how one dispensary plans to thrive. – Baltimore Sun

If Anthony Darby had to do it all over again, he couldn’t — at least not in today’s cannabis industry.

Newly laid off and living off a severance package in 2015, Darby was looking for something more meaningful to do with his life.

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He considered becoming a lacrosse coach. But he knew the state of Maryland was poised to launch a medical cannabis industry. Knowing firsthand the benefits of using cannabis, Darby got together with a couple of college friends and a doctor he’d recently met and they filled out a hundred-plus pages of forms, detailing their plans for a cannabis dispensary on the Eastern Shore.

More than 700 applicants vied for 94 dispensary licenses. Some had hired pricey consultants or made deals with out-of-state management firms to help with their application, but Darby and his friends won a license on their own. As relative novices, they bootstrapped their Salisbury business — Peninsula Alternative Health — into one of Maryland’s bigger dispensaries.

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That was when Maryland’s cannabis market was still in its infancy.

In just a few years, the state’s cannabis industry has gone from crawling on the floor to hitting its head on the ceiling. The number of new patients is tapering off. Companies

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