Cannabis Going Mainstream; Why Taking It Seriously is So Important


Snopp Dogg  (photo credit Getty/AFP/File Theo Wargo)

Snoop Dogg and Rihanna are launching marijuana lines. Cannabis tech start-up HelloMD offers online doctor recommendations.  Forbes, Time, and Fortune (to name just a few) are increasingly publishing cannabis-related articles. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Americans now support marijuana legalization. And, cannabis is a topic among presidential candidates.

It is undeniable that cannabis is gaining interest among people who may have never smoked a joint or who are just now considering the healing benefits the plant has to offer. Unfortunately, there’s still a huge stigma associated with marijuana as well as perpetuated misconceptions and myths that come from decades of the ‘War on Drugs.’

Correcting those misconceptions is exactly what Oaksterdam University has been doing since it was founded in 2007. The college has over 25,000 graduates and a growing number of people are enrolling in seminars and semester programs to learn about cannabis fundamentals, cannabusiness, and cannabis horticulture. That’s good news for Oaksterdam, but it is also good for the industry and society in general.

So, what does taking cannabis seriously look like?

Earlier this week Oaksterdam University was featured in The Washington Post, where author Sara Solovitch referred to Oaksterdam as the “Harvard Business School of marijuana.” It’s an appropriate name for the first cannabis college in the country and its comprehensive curriculum and caliber of faculty.

Not only does the article point out the courses taught at Oaksterdam and the depth and breadth of instructors—from Debby Goldsberry who co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group to Ed Rosenthal, who is cited as the world’s leading authority on marijuana cultivation—it features some of Oaksterdam students.


Students Matt Lanke and Jean Kennedy at Oaksterdam University. (photo credit Peter DaSilva/for The Washington Post)

People who choose to attend Oaksterdam University don’t fit the ‘stoner’ stereotype previously associated with marijuana. In fact, many students tend to be highly educated and are looking to expand their knowledge base, switch career paths, or help patients who rely on medical cannabis.

Solovitch talked with Jean Kennedy, a retired high school biology teacher who has a BS in biology and a master’s in special education. She’s 56 years old and has never smoked cannabis. Kennedy’s comment to Solovitch rings true. She said, “…these are not crazy people. These are not potheads. When you come here, you see it: These are businesspeople.”


Dr. Aseem Sappal, Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones, and student Derek Stephanoff. (photo credit Peter DaSilva/for The Washington Post

At its core, and under the watchful eye of Dr. Aseem Sappal, Provost and Dean of Faculty, Oaksterdam University maintains a serious approach to the college’s curriculum that includes an overarching theme of responsibility. Students learn from some of the most influential and successful professionals in the cannabis industry and have opportunities to network and build relationships with others who are equally serious about the growing medical and business opportunities.

This approach resonates with students, county and municipal officials, and politicians—even those from other countries. “We’re adding a new campus in Las Vegas,” said Sappal. “We recently taught courses in Orlando for doctors and nurses and we routinely advise politicians from California and, most recently, from Jamaica.”

No matter who you are, working in the cannabis industry comes with responsibility. And, if you want to learn it right the first time, Oaksterdam University offers the knowledge, practical insight and connections needed to be successful.

At the end of the day, we all have choices. Doesn’t it make sense to help change misperceptions and move the culture and industry of cannabis forward with respect?

If you’re shaking your head ‘yes’ right now, join us at Oaksterdam University to see what difference you can make.

Read The Washington Post article “Business is booming at the Harvard of pot in California.”

Learn about upcoming Oaksterdam University courses and seminars.

Have questions for Oaksterdam University? Leave a comment or send us a reply to this post. An OU team member will get back to you!



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