As we prepare to celebrate the school’s 15th anniversary in 2022, let’s reflect on 2021’s breakthrough changes for Oaksterdam University. Here’s a look at Oaksterdam’s 2021 Top 10 List:
1) The New Oaksterdam: We got a makeover a la Miss Congeniality! (Cue “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett please!) As the oldest cannabis college, we’ve been around the block, so we hired Essential Good to modernize our beloved crest, rebranding to the strong shield that continues to safeguard quality education and high standards. We cherish our history, and we constantly endeavor to refresh ourselves as we reframe the future. With the help of our talented team, we rewrote ALL our certification programs, launched several NEW courses, revamped our website, introduced the new logo, and basically reinvented Oaksterdam. This is how we stay on the cutting edge, meeting your needs in 2022 and beyond!
2) In da Clubhouse: We gon’ party like it’s your birthday! You can find Oaksterdam in the Clubhouse Audio Social App. We established the Cannabis Education Club, hosting Plant Talk with Faculty & Guest Experts Fridays at 4:20 p.m. (PST); and the Oaksterdam Club, offering Mentorship for Equity Cannabis Business Success on Thursdays moving to 1:20 p.m. (PST). Our Clubhouse membership is growing and you will love the new “replay” feature. Join us to connect and ask us anything!
3) Do the Money Dance: In July, we partnered with Arcview Group to offer Raising Funds for Cannabis Businesses. The live, virtual course covers how to access capital to launch or expand a canna-business, since traditional routes are not available. It examines the difference between debt and equity financing, key factors investors tend to consider, and best practices for pitching ideas. The class was such a hit, we’re offering it again in 2022!
4) Growing Strong: August marked the debut of our entirely reconsidered and rewritten Horticulture Program. We completely overhauled our most popular course to reflect the latest tools and techniques for hemp and cannabis cultivation. Two years in the making, the updates delve into integrated pest management, certificates of analysis, propagation techniques, farming infrastructure, compliance, and much more.
5) We Love L.A.: We are extremely excited that OU has been in contract with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) Social Equity Business, Licensing, and Compliance (BLC) Program. We are grateful to be providing Technical Support in Business and Workforce Development for Social Equity Participants and look forward to supporting more comprehensive services through the DCR including a live Job Fair in Los Angeles at the LATCC on March 19, 2022!
6) Hit of Hope for Social Equity: More cities are participating in Social Equity technical and financial support! In addition to our work in L.A., Oaksterdam Gov’t & Public Affairs has successfully completed the contract in 2021 for Workforce Development for qualified participants in the City and County of San Francisco Office of Cannabis Social Equity Program. At the end of 2021, OU was just awarded the contract by the City of Palm Springs to provide assistance for Business and Workforce Development starting in 2022! This reinvestment in hard-hit communities is what Oaksterdam has been working towards for years.
7) Going Pro: In October, the OU crew had fun and met some great businesses and people at MJBizCon in Las Vegas. While there, we announced our new Educational Partnership with Grow Generation, the largest hydroponics supplier in the country. We’re making sure GrowGen’s GrowPros receive training in all facets of cannabis horticulture next year, so they can empower customers to be successful home growers, and improve their yields.
8) Budtender Day: Oaksterdam helped launch an official cannabis holiday! We kicked off International Budtender Day on October 20, 2021, by giving away $8,000 in OU scholarships to budtenders around the world with Leafly. Budtenders entered through Leafly by describing how their job has made a positive impact on their lives. Stay tuned to meet the winners, and show your local Budtender some love and appreciation!
9) Pioneer Spirit: Oaksterdam’s “First Couple of Cannabis,” Jeff and Dale Sky Jones, attended California NORML’s 25th Anniversary of Prop 215 celebration in November. Held in San Francisco, the gala included cannabis advocates who helped pass the state’s historic 1996 medical marijuana law. Jeff, who launched the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative and invented the spirit of “Oaksterdam” while he fought for patients’ rights all the way to the Supreme Court, was among those who received a 215 Pioneer Award. Congratulations, Jeff, and thank you CaNORML!
10) Advocacy Award: To wrap up the year, we’re inviting alumni and friends to enter The Budtender Awards Presented by G4 Live. We’ll award scholarships to budtenders who work to ensure everyone has safe, legal access to medicinal and adult-use cannabis. To nominate a budtender, click here, scroll down to the “Your Choice” awards and find the Community Advocacy Award Sponsored by Oaksterdam in the drop-down menu.
Thank you to Students, Staff, Faculty, and Friends who have been intrinsic to the Oaksterdam journey, you are the secret to our collective success. Stay tuned in 2022 for more exciting opportunities with OU. “We’ve done a lot of preliminary work to establish strategic relationships and create needed services for Alum and regulators,” says OU Chancellor Dale Sky Jones. “Good things take time.”