Attending Oaksterdam University: Look From Student’s Perspective


Oaksterdam University opened its doors to students in 2007, making it the first cannabis college in America. Thousands of students have learned how to grow medicinal quality cannabis and have gained necessary skills to be successful in the marijuana industry.

Students generally begin their education at OU by taking the Classic Semester, which covers all facets of the cannabis industry. Topics covered include an overview of legal concerns, horticulture, ingestion methods, extractions, science, the cannabis industry, potential careers, business opportunities, best practices and more. This semester of classes also includes a grow lab with week-by-week growing of a cannabis garden.

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Current Oaksterdam University student Conrad Smith

Cannabis Industry Today caught up with Conrad Smith, a current OU student. From Atlanta, Georgia, Smith stumbled upon the Oaksterdam University website. Though he’d never heard of a cannabis college before, what OU had to offer appealed to him.

“I was looking to turn a new page in my life,” said Smith, who is 28 years old. “And, I’ll admit that it was a ‘leap of faith’ as far as getting the right education for the cannabis industry, but the Oaksterdam University program looked like a good one.”

Smith enrolled in the Classic Semester about two months ago. So far, he’s impressed with the quality of the OU faculty and the information he’s learning.

“We’re learning about the cannabis industry in general from California laws and licensing to day-to-day needs of running a dispensary,” said Smith. “I’m really enjoying the classes. They are designed to help us pinpoint where in the cannabis industry we’d like to work.”

Where might Smith like to work?

“I like the one-on-one time with the plant,” said Smith. “The cannabis plant has been here for thousands of years relatively unaltered and one seed can positively impact a patient’s life. I think I’d like to help patients by growing medicinal cannabis. I’d keep it a small business, similar to the small tobacco farm my grandfather ran. That way I can focus on quality.”

This is important to Smith, who is a patient himself. Struggling with lower back pain due to an accident at work a couple of years ago, he learned through a process of elimination that medicinal cannabis helps him manage the pain.

So, was his leap of faith at enrolling at OU worth it?

“I’m very happy with the education I’m getting. It is affordable and I believe I’m getting what I’m paying for,” said Smith. “The fact that marijuana is illegal makes it harder to get an education, but OU is making it work. I just wish the campus was bigger.”

Do you want to be part of the growing medical cannabis industry? Consider attending Oaksterdam University. 

Oaksterdam University offers semester classes and 2-4 day seminars to get you started. Topics cover regulations, history and politics, legal rights, horticulture, ingestion methods, science of cannabis, economics of cannabis, patient relations and advocacy, dispensary operations and business management, procurement and allocation, legal business structures, delivery business and topical applications. Learn More.


4 thoughts on “Attending Oaksterdam University: Look From Student’s Perspective

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your questions. Oaksterdam University campus is located in Downtown Oakland. At the moment this is the only campus location that we have. We will soon have another campus in Denver, CO. Oaksterdam University will also be holding seminars throughout the country this year. In March we will be in Las Vegas, NV, and in May we will be in the Maryland/D.C. area. We are aware that some of our students do have some experience in the industry and our programs are designed so that those just starting off or those who have experience will learn from our University. We do not give any credits for life experiences nor do we let students test out course work. At your request we can provide you with a course overview and with a list of topics covered in our programs to see if OU is for you. Please provide us with a mailing address and we will gladly send you out some information. There is also course information on our website. If you have more questions feel free to ask me here or call student support at 510-251-1544. Good luck!


  1. Hi, Following up on the May time frame for the DC/MD area. Is that a definite and will you be offering the Classic 4 day and the Horticulture 4 day seminars back to back in May or is it only one and if so which one? My son wants to attend and that would be cheaper than a flight to Oakland twice. Or at least once if one is actually going to happen in this area in May. The schedule on-line does not go out as far as May. Please advise. Thank you, Pat


    • Hi Pat,
      Thanks for your question. Oaksterdam University will definitely be holding a seminar in the Maryland/DC area in May 2015. It will be the 4-Day Classic seminar. The exact dates for this seminar should be released on the website shortly. Please check back. If you have more questions feel free to ask me here or contact student support at 510-251-1544.


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