Fall brings with it the first semester of the school year and in 2007, the city of Oakland opened the doors to a new type of schooling for the nation – cannabis college. Oaksterdam University’s founder, Richard Lee, took the idea from the horticulture-focused school in Amsterdam and decided to expand the curriculum to cover all aspects of the industry including law, advocacy, economics, patient relations, and methods of ingestion – just to name a few.

In the beginning, the entire student body only consisted of about 20 lucky students crammed into a very small classroom on 15th street in downtown Oakland. Not a full year passed before Oaksterdam opened a branch campus in LA which was ran by Jeff Jones, co-founder of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative (now the Patient ID Center). In 2009, the university moved into a much larger building – complete with classrooms, auditoriums, and a state-of-the-art grow lab – on Broadway and 19th street. That same year, the school began to hold seminars in other states where medical marijuana was legal, starting with Michigan and then traveling to Nevada, Colorado, and D.C.

Then in 2012, things took a turn for the worse. On April 2, the DEA (and the IRS) raided the University along with Lee’s dispensary, hemp museum, and home. No one was arrested, but as the feds shoved plants into trash bags and seized computers and bank accounts, protestors with lit joints took to the streets. In the end, Richard Lee decided to step down as president and was replaced by Dale Sky Jones.

Oaksterdam University now operates with a smaller staff out of a building on Telegraph Avenue that also houses the Cannabis and Hemp Museum and the PIDC. The school accepts a heavy influx of both local and international students and continues to conduct educational seminars outside of California as well.

Read more at http://oaksterdamuniversity.com/about/history/

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