Pot professor offers expertise


Photo by Nyia Curtis

Professor Shad Ewart teaches cannabis entrepreneurship classes.

Malik Harris, Reporter

An AACC professor last month said entrepreneurs should “think beyond the recreational use of cannabis” because it has become part of “a multimillion-dollar cash business.”

Shad Ewart, an assistant professor of business management, told student members of the AACC Entrepreneur’s Club that the emerging cannabis industry could create jobs in security, data, transportation “and so much more.”

In 2014, Maryland became the 18th state to decriminalize the possession of cannabis, so those with fewer than 10 grams are committing a civil rather than a criminal offense. The penalty for a first-time offender is $100.

Ewart, who teaches a class called “Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Expanding Markets: Cannabis,” said legalizing medicinal cannabis is Maryland’s “greatest opportunity.”

Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland, but the state is still in the process of reviewing applications from those hoping to open dispensaries.

“My best guess is by summer 2017, you will see dispensaries that are able to openly sell medicinal cannabis to patients,” Ewart said.“You’ll literally be able to walk to the nearest dispensary and get your medicinal cannabis right there.”

Under the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis is considered a narcotic, so researchers can study it, but they cannot test it on humans in the U.S.

The San Francisco-based Arcview Group estimated Maryland medicinal cannabis sales at more than $60 million by 2020.

However, Ewart said, “It’s an absolute, brutally tough industry to get into.”