Pubdate: Mon, 09 Feb 2015
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2015 The Washington Times, LLC.
Author: Tim Prudente, the Capital


ARNOLD, MD. - Start stoner-friendly munchies stands in Colorado. Or 
open a lounge near a marijuana dispensary in Oregon.

Or try selling fertilizer to weed growers, dude.

"Opportunities are endless, whatever we can create in our heads," 
said Dean Warner, a student at Anne Arundel Community College.

The college launched Feb. 2 a class exploring business opportunities 
in the expanding U.S. marijuana market.

"The people that made the money in the Gold Rush were not the guys 
with the nuggets," said professor Shad Ewart. "It was the people who 
sold them the picks, the shovels, made the blue jeans, opened the banks."

Last year, Maryland became the 18th state to decriminalize small 
amounts of marijuana. Someone caught with less than 10 grams, 
however, still faces a fine up to $100 for a first offense.

Four states - Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Colorado - went further 
to make pot legal for recreational use. When combined with medical 
marijuana taxes and fees, Colorado earned $3.5 million from pot sales 
in January last year.

"I'm just trying to open their eyes to the opportunities," Mr. Ewart 
said. "Be the guy that supplies the lighting, the nutrients, the dirt."

He has taught business and marketing classes at the college for more 
than 15 years.

His latest class was almost called "Ganja-preneurship" (too 
provocative, he said) and is instead called - Entrepreneurial 
Opportunities in Emerging Markets: Marijuana Legalization.

It began Feb. 2 when he wrote the course number on the board.

"You see the green pen?" Laughs. "The green that I'm talking about in 
this class is money."

Understand, this class is not Cheech & Chong.

"That's a part I want to deemphasize," Mr. Ewart said.

A similar course is offered at the University of Denver, though Mr. 
Ewart said area colleges offer no such courses.

His class - also almost called "Canna-business" - comes as advocates 
want to see last year's decriminalization law extended to cover 
rolling papers and other paraphernalia.

The first proposal to decriminalize pot in Maryland was introduced in 
2011. Similarly, Mr. Ewart said he's spent two years lobbying 
administrators to allow his course.

Four times, he appeared before the committee that approves new 
courses, he said. Typically, a new course is approved in one semester, he said.

"Other [professors] have been a little bit nervous," he said.

Last year's General Assembly session also saw the expansion of 
medical marijuana laws in Maryland to allow patients access to pot if 
approved by doctors. That expansion allowed up to 15 growers.

County Executive Steve Schuh, a Republican who served last session in 
the House of Delegates, voted against both decriminalization and 
medical-marijuana expansion. Mr. Schuh's position hasn't changed, 
said Owen McEvoy, his spokesman.

"That being said, we have to respect the position of the community 
college to dictate their curriculum," Mr. McEvoy said.

Seventeen students enrolled in the class to learn everything from the 
history of marijuana in Ancient Egypt to its economic impact today. 
There will be readings, but no textbooks.

"There's nothing out there - I looked," Mr. Ewart said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom