Earlier this month, Oaksterdam University packed its bags and headed to Las Vegas, Nevada, to present four information-filled days about growing medicinal marijuana to a sold out crowd of entrepreneurs, dispensary owners, employees, suppliers and patients from over 15 different states.
Nevada has been on the waiting list for medicinal marijuana dispensaries since 2001. That’s when the state approved medical cannabis but the first dispensary wasn’t licensed until late in 2014. In early March state officials had just one final step to put in place—determine a list of approved pesticides and heavy-metal limits—before dispensaries can open.
Oakland-based Oaksterdam University, which is the first medicinal marijuana college in the United States to offer training, and its experienced faculty provided an intensive indoor horticulture seminar in Las Vegas focused on cultivation law, vegetative growth, organic horticulture, yield maximization, grow room design, electrical safety and lighting, pests and pathogens, strain selection, basics of soil science, and more.
Seminar participants ranged in age, gender, cannabis experience and goals. Many participants were from Nevada. Angel Piza is from North Las Vegas and is a medical cannabis patient who grows his own marijuana. He wanted to expand his growing knowledge and would like to be a breeder one day.
“The horticulture seminar was excellent,” said Piza. “I have experience growing marijuana but I wanted to become certified in the topic and to look for a new career opportunity.”
Seattle-resident Casey Connell owns two commercial cannabis supply businesses: Contender Agriculture, which grows medicinal marijuana and Contender Gardens, which is slotted to grow adult use marijuana.
“I love what I do and I love to learn. Oaksterdam’s seminar offered the opportunity to add credibility to my resume with the horticulture certification. I also liked being able to network with other growers to learn from their experiences compared to my own. ” ~ Casey Connell, Commercial Cannabis Grower
“I love what I do and I love to learn,” said Connell. “Oaksterdam’s seminar offered the opportunity to add credibility to my resume with the horticulture certification. I also liked being able to network with other growers to learn from their experiences compared to my own. ”
Jacquelyn Camper is from Chicago, Illinois, where medicinal cannabis is legal but in infant stages of getting off the ground. She has a strong interest in finding a niche within the industry that best suits her and lets her help people get the medication they need without buying it on the street corner.
“My background is in horticulture and pharmacy but I don’t have experience in the cannabis industry,” said Camper. “I’d heard good things about Oaksterdam University and found the information—there’s a lot of it—very helpful.”
In addition to having access to some of the most qualified professionals in the cannabis industry, including OU’s Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones, participants networked with each other and some established medicinal cannabis entities and experts. The founders of Green Therapeutics—all OU alumni—were on hand, as well entrepreneur and OU’s Lead Horticulture Instructor Joey Ereñeta, representatives from the Las Vegas Norml Chapter, and co-owners of Jane’s Brew.
“We expect over 100 of the attendees to pass the exam and become certified in cannabis horticulture,” said Dr. Aseem Sappal, OU’s Director of Operations, Dean of Faculty and OU Professor. “There is tremendous interest in our seminars. Oaksterdam will return to Las Vegas June 12th to 15th to present the four-day Classic Seminar and a two-day job fair.”
Don’t want to wait until June? Oaksterdam University offers semester classes as well as the horticulture and the classic seminars on its campus in downtown Oakland. Check out Oaksterdam University’s Course Schedule and Class Calendar to learn more about offerings and times.
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