My SSDP Summer Internship Experience

Check out the experiences of these four rockstar SSDPers who interned through SSDP’s Career Services Program:

Stephanie Freeman​​ (CUNY Law)

Stephanie Freeman

Stephanie Freeman, CUNY School of Law SSDP

This summer, I had the privilege of working with Rose and Thorn Consulting through the Students for Sensible Drug Policy internship program. As a law student, I was able to approach this policy based internship with a unique perspective. During my time with the company, I was able to explore a vast range of legal subjects through the exploration of the cannabis industry as a whole; from reading and interpreting past and future bills/legislation to dissecting international law, there was never a lack of opportunity to learn. Not only was I able to further comprehend the industry I wish to work in, I also honed my legal analysis, writing, and policy interpretation skills. This internship has provided me with experience and exposure beyond any expectation imaginable.

Muhamed Ahmouda (University of Cincinnati)

I thought that the SSDP team did a very good job communicating with me. Although I was located on the west coast they often scheduled times around my distance and would meet any time that works for both of us. I

Muhamed Ahmouda, University of Cincinnati SSDP

Muhamed Ahmouda, University of Cincinnati SSDP

was mostly in touch with Zachary Ferguson who helped me along the way as well as interviewed me in the beginning. Zachary was a great contact and eventually friend to me along my journey. He taught me a lot about the cannabis industry and professionalism in general.

The company I was placed with was called CannabisTrainers out of Denver, Colorado. This company was at the start-up phase with little to no funding and one chief facilitator Maureen. Maureen was a strong communicator with a hopeful disposition. The internship was mostly social media work such as sending out newsletters and compiling contacts from various emails and messages on popular social media outlets. Most importantly I learned how different the cannabis industry is at this time from traditional corporate culture.

Lucas Hennessey (Binghamton University)

Lucas Hennessey

Lucas Hennessey, Binghamton University SSDP

My internship at 4Front Advisors through the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Internship Program has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. Being a part of 4Front Advisors has been incredible. I really can’t say enough about this company, the team is very competent, professional, informed, and personable. Because the company is relatively small, my work definitely makes an impact that I can see and that is appreciated. The bonds that I have developed are very real and meaningful.
SSDP not only gave me this opportunity but encouraged me to learn more and helped me out where and when I needed it. I enjoyed taking lessons with other interns from all sorts of different backgrounds an I knew that I could reach out to Zach any time I needed help or advice. I find this program to be highly positive and completely in line with the ideals of SSDP.
Samantha Santoscoy (Columbia University)

I had the opportunity this summer to intern with Cannasure LLC in Westlake, Ohio. As their summer intern, my major task was to write a series of insurance risk management articles for their newsletter, which is aimed at cannabusinesses. After going into the office and reviewing risk management topics with my new boss, Patrick, I was given a surprising amount of freedom to research and write on any topics I thought was relevant.

Samantha Santoscoy, Columbia University SSDP

Samantha Santoscoy, Columbia University SSDP

I wrote for a range of categories over the proceeding months, such as workplace accidents, surveillance and security, product liability, fire prevention and protection, and business continuity. Zachary, my SSDP coordinator, called me for weekly check-ins and was always enthusiastic to talk about my work with Cannasure, as well as advise on future article ideas and just chat about the relevant current events, like Midwest marijuana legislation or the circumstances surrounding the kratom cafes of Florida.

My time at Cannasure provided me with a new insight into the current risks of cannabusinesses. On top of typical business risks, this industry carries a substantial amount of additional risk. For instance, fire prevention and protection is important for virtually any business; however, indoor growing facilities face additional problems with air enrichment due to carbon dioxide, especially when using tanks of compressed carbon dioxide. Other marijuana facilities, such as those that deal with concentrates, oils, and edibles, have additional risk as well due to their use of dry ice or burners, along with the other reactive chemical processes involved in extraction. Overall, I had a wonderful experience interning with Cannasure as part of SSDP’s summer internship program, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in getting more involved in drug policy!

Employers and students: check out SSDP’s Career Services Program to learn more!