Medical cannabis cert. in evaluation by school


Bethany Probst

AACC business professor Shad Ewart has proposed a medical cannabis certificate.

Daniel Salomon, Co-Editor

A proposal for a 16-credit medical cannabis specialist certificate stalled in the fall as college officials waited to learn which candidates would win the Anne Arundel County executive and council seats.

According to campus sources, some members of last year’s County Council opposed a medical cannabis-related course already at the college for students hoping to work in businesses that grow, distribute or sell medical marijuana, which is legal in Maryland.

The county funds more than one-third of AACC’s budget each year.

Post-election, the proposal is back in the approval process, which involves faculty and administration review.

Business professor Shad Ewart, who teaches the existing medical marijuana class and proposed the certificate, said he hopes the program wins approval.

“We have a confirmation from industry members that said, ‘If you had students that take these classes and graduate with this program, it doesn’t guarantee them a job—nothing does—but we would definitely interview those people first because we consider them to be valuable,’” Ewart said.

As he prepared his proposal for the certificate, Ewart said, he approached owners of dispensaries and processing plants to ask what they wanted in an entry-level worker.

Some students said they hope the college will approve the certificate.

“I think any opportunity is a good opportunity,” Blake Rebstock, a second-year criminal justice student, said. “If it provides people the opportunity to have a job or stay busy, I think it’s a good thing.”

Rosalina Toolan, a first-year undecided student, agreed. “I feel like it’s a really good opportunity for students that really want to get in this business … especially with the industry just becoming a thing.”

Vice President for Learning Mike Gavin said some on campus questioned whether offering the certificate would jeopardize students who rely on federal financial aid. The federal government has not legalized medical cannabis.

“I feel that I have developed a good program,” Ewart said. “I feel I’ve done the due diligence on the classes we have chosen. … I’ve done everything [that] a community college should do.”