Oaksterdam University 10 Year Anniversary

oaksterdam university
Written by Cara Wietstock

Oaksterdam University celebrates 10 years of education.

Last week on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California cannabis activists, pioneers, and entrepreneurs gathered to honor a decade of educating at Oaksterdam University. Oaksterdam has been setting records since they became the first cannabis college back in 2007. They continue to be the only cannabis university offering a comprehensive curriculum in cannabis horticulture and business.

“While there is much still to do,” said OU Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones, “we wanted to recognize, honor and thank people who have made a difference in transforming the movement into an industry. This evening was about celebrating the gladiators for how much has been accomplished in cannabis education as well as remembering what has been lost in the cannabis policy reform battle.”

oaksterdam university

The event at the Scottish Rite Center served as a commencement ceremony for those that have graduated after the raid of 2012. Oakland City Council member-at-large Rebecca Kaplan spoke of her experiences during the raid of the university. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors surprised the college with a formal commendation as a dynamic, diverse, and responsive academic institution. They were also honored the academic institution for being dedicated to education and equality in the global cannabis community.  

In addition, Richard Lee, retired founder of Oaksterdam University, was honored as the keynote speaker and given Living Legend Recognition. He received a standing ovation from those in the crowd. The college is publishing a Legacy Book to commemorate and recognize the history and activists who have fought for this ripe, new industry.

“Alameda County rarely gives commendations and the fact that they planned to surprise us made it all the more special,” said Dr. Aseem Sappal, OU’s Provost and Dean of Faculty. “What a great honor to be recognized for our achievements over the past 20+ years on an evening when we were honoring so many others.”

Oaksterdam also honored many cannabis veterans like Dr. Sue Sisley, Tommy Chong, and Lynette Shaw. Green Heart Medals were also awarded to a large group of people who have suffered great loss while putting themselves in the line of fire for cannabis rights. Since its culmination, Oaksterdam has trained over 30,000 people from 30 different countries in cannabis horticulture. It is events like this that help remind us to honor those in the industry today of the activists that moved the nation to create this phenomenal industry in the first place.

About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

Leave a Comment