Oakland’s Event of the Decade

Saturday, September 24, 2022
Fox Theater: 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94612

Join us for Oaksterdam University’s 15-Year Anniversary Party and a special screening of American Pot Story: Oaksterdam at the historic Fox Theater in Oakland, California. The documentary is the closing night film for the 20th Annual Oakland International Film Festival* on Saturday, September 24th, 2022. Doors open at 5 p.m. (Pacific). * (OIFF runs Sept. 15-24, 2022)

The movement that started at America’s first cannabis college would impact the world. Join Oaksterdam University as we reflect on the City of Oakland’s rich history of civil disobedience. Celebrate years of dedication to this mission with an epic event. 

American Pot Story: Oaksterdam tells the unknown origin story of the people who took considerable risks to make cannabis legalization possible. The film celebrates the courageous heritage of the legacy cannabis industry.

Ticket Options (USD):
  • $10 Movie Ticket Only – Balcony Area
  • $35 Movie Ticket + After-Party – Mezzanine/Loge/Orchestra Area
  • $75 Movie Ticket + After-Party with VIP Gift Bag (Value $300) – Orchestra Terrace Area

ADA accessibility is available.

Reach out to [email protected] if you have further questions.

If you are Faculty or need Equity Assistance, claim your complimentary movie ticket.

Event Schedule (Pacific Time):

4:30 p.m. Media Call
5:00 p.m. Doors OpenRed Carpet Interviews by Cannabis Talk 101 iHeartRadio
5:00 p.m. Fox Den VIPExclusive Reception/Networking (Invite-Only)
6:30 p.m. Welcome by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and OU Chancellor Dale Sky Jones and Introduction by California Governor Gavin Newsom with Luminary Awards
7:00 p.m. Screening of American Pot Story: Oaksterdam
8:45 p.m. Panel Discussion with Filmmakers & Dignitaries
9:15 p.m. Official After-Party for OU and OIFF 


Sponsorship Details


For online sponsorship payments, pay here.

Reach out to [email protected] to send sponsorship payment by mail for zero fees!

For a Good Cause

The Oaksterdam Nonprofit for Education (The ONE), a national organization formed to promote educational scholarships and career opportunities in cannabis, is producing the event.

  • Proceeds fund scholarship programs for individuals negatively affected by cannabis prohibition, and support the arts through the Oakland International Film Festival.
  • All donations and sponsorships are 501(c)(3) tax-deductible.

Who Will Attend?

Business owners, elected officials, media, affiliates, and alumni. Luminaries from the social justice movement, industry, and journalists from prominent media who appear in the documentary have also been invited, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, and Bay Area news. 

Come Celebrate with OU:

  • Local DJ & Entertainment
  • Networking Event
  • Door Prizes & VIP Gift Bags
  • Awards Ceremony

Save the date in your calendar, and purchase tickets today! You’re welcome to invite your family and friends by sharing this link.


Benefits of Being a Sponsor:

✔ Showcase Your Company, Service, or Product to Luminaries and Leaders of America’s Prominent Companies
✔ Meet the Media
✔ Support Your Alma Mater
✔ Network with Oaksterdam’s Network of Alumni, Businesses, and Lawmakers

Special Screening of “American Pot Story: Oaksterdam” Documentary


Cannabis in America has evolved in epic proportions over the last decade. American Pot Story: Oaksterdam tells the unknown origin story of the people who took a considerable risk to make this possible. What started at the first-ever cannabis college in Oakland, California, would impact the world, reflecting Oakland’s rich history of civil resistance. 

Filmmakers Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus of New Love Films spent a decade following this small group of rebels, including Oaksterdam University Founder Richard Lee and Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones. Also in the film are Tommy Chong, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Governor Gavin Newsom, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland City Councilmember-at-Large Rebecca Kaplan, Oaksterdam founder Jeff Jones, Leafly’s David Downs, LEAP’s Kyle Kazan, Diane Goldstein, Neill Franklin, and many others.

From facing public and international press to withstanding a federal raid that threatened it all, their fight for legalization is as tense as it is inspiring. A true American tale, their plight serves as a reminder of how democracy can work when people come together.

Watch “American Pot Story: Oaksterdam” Sizzle Reel

This film is not yet rated.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Our Official Media Partner, Cannabis Talk 101 iHeart Radio, provides event sponsors a unique opportunity to record a feature episode at their Orange County, Calif. production studio or over Zoom. Cannabis Talk 101 broadcast reaches millions of impressions: 

  • 84,811 unique listeners
  • 62,463 monthly impressions
  • Heard in over 184 countries and 1,237 different regions

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an internationally recognized organization with chapters in nearly every higher learning institution nationwide. As an Official Partner for this event, SSDP will do outreach across their database of active student members to promote the event, including email blasts and weekly engagement with all SSDP chapters nationwide.

  • 300+ campus branches
  • 45k email subscribers

For all sponsorship & donation requests please email Oaksterdam Nonprofit for Education Chairwoman Priscilla Agoncillo at [email protected].

What They've Said About Us

“Now that marijuana is becoming legal in so many places, I saw that there's now a university called Oaksterdam in Oakland, California that’s just a business school for legal marijuana. It’s kinda like a regular college but with less weed.” — Jimmy Fallon

"Every day was expecting to get busted, closing at night surprised that we weren’t and then opening up the next day expecting to get busted again." — Richard Lee OU Founder

“Oaksterdam became a rallying word in the minds of drug law reformers.” — David Downs Leafly, San Francisco Chronicle

“It humbles me to be part of the Oaksterdam family.” — Tommy Chong

“So much has come out of that small piece of real estate.” — Maj. Neill Franklin Retired Law Enforcement

“At Oaksterdam, the homework assignments involve baking the perfect pot brownie, the lessons teach students how to greet DEA agents who’ve just kicked down the front door, and the diploma confers the status: certified budtender.” — Los Angeles Daily News

Celebrating the Last 15 Years: A Timeline

Oaksterdam University’s roots date back to 1995, when OU Faculty Jeff Jones joined other pioneers to provide medicinal cannabis to local Bay Area cancer and AIDS patients, setting off momentum that would unite activists in a nationwide legalization movement. Growing from that effort, OU was officially founded in 2007 by Richard Lee and other experts in medical marijuana.


Richard Lee, owner of Coffeeshop Blue Sky dispensary, places an ad in the East Bay Express offering classes on how to grow cannabis. Calls pour in, and Oaksterdam University is born with Lee’s friend and fellow cannabis activist Jeff Jones opening a Los Angeles campus three months later.


OU goes on the road to Ann Arbor, Mich. and holds the largest class ever of 320 people drawn from all over the Midwest. The seeds planted are thousands strong once a campus opens in Flint for the next few years. While educating 55 students nearly every weekend on Basic and Advanced Business (the “Classic Program”) in both L.A. and Oakland, OU opens another campus Sebastopol in North Bay, Calif.


Richard Lee writes an open-source document to control, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults. Oaksterdam begins to collect signatures on what will become Proposition 19, the first statewide legalization ballot initiative since 1972 and the first to have a chance at ending marijuana prohibition in 73 years. Dale Sky steps out as the spokeswoman (accidentally and against her will).


OU’s Oakland campus expands to meet demand, opening at 1600 Broadway with 30,000-square-feet of classroom and administration space, plus a 10,000-square-foot basement nursery for cannabis. Prop 19 sparks the campaign heard ’round the world, and demands massive criminal justice reforms in California reducing arrests by 87% the very next year for all ages (not just 21 and over). Although it fails by a slim margin, the effort becomes a blueprint for Colorado and Washington, and the coalition for legalization nationwide is solidified. Many nations take notice, and have since surpassed the U.S. in reform.


The IRS, assisted by U.S. Marshals, ATF, and the DEA, raid OU’s school, dispensary, nursery, museum, and Richard Lee’s apartment, forcing Lee to retire under threat of a Continuing Criminal Enterprise charge if he continues with his locally-sanctioned, permitted, tax-paying businesses. The school reopens with Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones at the helm as President and CEO. The Freedom Fighter Scholarship Fund is launched to provide scholarships to veterans.


OU begins to hold seminars in Rhode Island; Atlantic City, N.J.; Denver, Colo.; Las Vegas; Palm Beach, Fla.; Louisville, Ky., Washington, D.C., and New York City, bringing cannabis education across the U.S in various seminars for Business, Legal, Horticulture, Science, Extraction, Budtending, and Continuing Medical and Legal Professional Education credits (CME & CLE).


OU creates the Office of Government Relations and Public Affairs and delivers comprehensive training programs for the California Board of Equalization (now the CDTFA); and the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Regulation (OMMR) and Department of Agriculture. OU also holds classes for several universities.


OU educates internationally in Jamaica, Uruguay, Mexico, Germany, Israel and throughout the U.S. After years of working to Reform CA, voters passed an imperfect version of the policy. Finally the cannabis market in California, the largest economy in the U.S., is state-sanctioned activity.


OU launches its first full online certification course, Indoor Horticulture, and celebrates its 10-Year Anniversary with a huge bash of 420 people, featuring Pioneer O’Dammy Awards, live music, dinner, dancing, and a hash bar — allegedly. We publish the Oaksterdam Legacy Book to commemorate history.


OU reimagines and rewrites our Business of Cannabis curriculum providing the comprehensive foundation for professionals entering or working with the industry. The Capstone Project is the most intensive semester, perfect for launching business plans.


A fire that ignited in the BART passage next to OU takes over the art installation, then our campus, in a conflagration, forcing the physical building to close the same the week the governor issues COVID-19 shutdown orders in March. Staff quickly regroups and finds a way to move classes completely online, reinventing our business model and how we deliver information. Like a phoenix from the flames, Oaksterdam is reborn and now based in your living room … and chat is finally allowed!


OU rebrands with an entirely new logo replacing the beloved crest with a sturdy shield. New programs like Budtending and Extraction & Manufacturing are offered for workforce development, conveying detailed instruction for important roles. Oh, and the Hort Team spends over a year completely revamping our horticulture program for commercial use.

OU faculty and staff launch twice-weekly chats on Clubhouse, spending more than two hours offering mentorship for equity cannabis business success every Thursday, and Plant Talk every Friday — discussing anything from issues facing the struggling plant in your closet to helping operators of massive grow facilities improve their yields. Open to the public, the networking and troubleshooting alone is worth more than that consultant you don’t really need.


OU earns contracts with the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Palm Springs to offer technical assistance for business and workforce development — the very policies we fought to include in the California budget and industry. We are proud to work with participants who are qualified, and those who are still trying to establish the policies they must live with. More than a thousand scholarships have been provided over the years to individuals who need financial assistance.


OU adds contracts with the City of Oakland and State of Connecticut to offer technical assistance for business and workforce development. The Oaksterdam Nonprofit for Education, (The ONE) a 501(c)(3) is established for educational scholarships and standards for program and educator certification. OU celebrates 15 years of quality education for the cannabis industry with all of YOU, our amazing Alumni, representing the industry in leadership positions around the world. Thank YOU!

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