Course Catalog

Horticulture

Our comprehensive horticulture program covers everything  from seed to harvest. Work hands-on with cannabis plants in all stages.

Click Here to learn about our Horticulture courses

Business

Our extensive business program will teach you how to start your own cannabis business and how to maintain and operate legally & successfully.

Click Here to learn about our Business courses

Learn about our Enrollment Process or go to our Course Schedule to enroll.

Seminar courses are offered every other week. Both programs are offered once a month.
Semester courses are triannually.

Horticulture Courses

We offer our Horticulture Program in 3 formats: 14-week Semesters,  5-day Seminars & Online.

The Horticulture Semester is 14 weeks long consisting of 9 weeks of indoor and 5 weeks of outdoor horticulture. Classes meet once a week on Thursdays.

Semesters are held 3 times a year, click here for available course dates.

Our Horticulture Semester provides the most comprehensive indoor and outdoor horticultural education & training available for the Cannabis Industry. Classes consist of slide presentations, lectures, demos, and hands-on workshops led by industry leaders and professional growers. Classes also include DIY projects opportunities that will help you develop your personal goals in both small and large-scale settings.

Semester students will be provided ample time for Q&A interaction with our with our expert instructors comprised of industry leaders, attorneys, business owners, professional growers and extractors.

Along with the purchase of the Horticulture semester, you will have the option to attend Friday Labs* for the duration of your semester. Labs are run by our knowledgeable horticulture techs and will be an extension of the hands-on labs in your structured Horticulture semester classes. Each Friday lab will vary in content, usually following along with the curriculum from the previous day. Attending labs gives you the opportunity to ask any follow-up questions you may have and let the freshly acquired knowledge soak in.

The Friday labs will give you a better understanding of what you can expect in the day to day operations of running a grow operation, including the use of a Dosatron®! Although not mandatory, they are very beneficial extracurricular activity included with your tuition; both fun and remedial tasks associated with maintaining any cultivation activities!

* Sometimes substituted with field trips. Friday labs dates are not finalized.

The Horticulture Seminar is 5 days long consisting of 24 individual classes. The Horticulture Seminar is offered once a month, click here for available course dates.

Our Horticulture Seminar is a condensed version of our Horticulture Semester. Classes consist of slide presentations, lectures, demos, and hands-on workshops led by industry leaders and professional growers. Classes also include  DIY  projects opportunities that will help you develop your personal goals in both small and large scale settings.

Oaksterdam University’s Indoor Horticulture Online Course provides the most comprehensive indoor horticultural education available for entering the Cannabis Industry and expanding your personal growth. This course consists of resources, presentations, grow labs, and mastery exercises developed by industry leaders.

It is designed for anyone looking to learn everything from seed to harvest. The course will begin with federal V state law, giving you the vital information you didn’t know you needed.  You will learn how to have successful law enforcement encounters, your constitutional rights, and best practices for operating safely and responsibly. 

Course Curriculum

Click the subjects below to read the class descriptions

Legal 101: Federal vs. State Law
An important introduction to the legal issues surrounding medical cannabis and the cannabis industry. Learn about the laws that govern cannabis distribution, cultivation, possession, and consumption for adults and medical patients. Have your questions answered by prominent cannabis lawyers, many of which helped write the law. Grasp the difference between state & federal law and what each means for you. Learn how to behave safely and responsibly under California and Federal Law.
Civics 101
Understand how to become a qualified patient, or recognize one. Review your rights under the law, including how to exercise your rights when navigating police encounters successfully. Learn your civic rights and responsibilities to positively contribute to our community and the cannabis industry.
Politics & History of Cannabis
Cannabis is the world’s first cash crop with proven use that dates back over 10,000 years. The use of cannabis, and the industry that has developed, comes from long and complicated struggle of social, political, and medical activism and awareness. Learn about the political history of cannabis, and the key players and policies that have shaped the policy as we know it today. Learn the history and politics of the Cannabis movement, and figure out what part you play in the future of regulation and reform.
Horticulture 101 – Growing Safely & Responsibly
Learn the basics of how to grow cannabis. This course covers everything needed to get going and produce or improve your personal cannabis harvest. Instructors will detail the basics of watering, lighting, ventilation, life cycles, and equipment options. Indoor and outdoor information is included, as well as hydroponics and organic options. Even experienced folks can learn from this presentation about cuttings, pest and pathogen control, smell abatement, security, pH balance, and drying/curing.
Equipment Overview
Cultivating cannabis requires many different types of equipment. The types of equipment used for the different stages of plant growth and what equipment is appropriate will be reviewed. The pros and cons of different equipment technologies, as well as their costs and other consideration will be examined.
Anatomy & Physiology of the Cannabis Plant
The cannabis plant’s structures, parts, how to identify them, and the functions that each one will be examined. The differences between male and female A&P and their reproductive processes will be emphasized.
Seeds & Cuttings
The beautiful plants we grow began as seeds, but some begin as cuttings. Determine when and why to use seeds instead of cuttings, and the pros/cons of their different applications. This is the beginning of the process. See up close seeds and learn to sprout them. Understand what helps ensure successful cuttings and learn to properly propagate and root a cutting properly. Receive a hands-on demonstration for the OU method of germinating a seed and taking a cutting.
Lab – Seedlings, Transplanting & Topping
Seedlings need to be transplanted before they have outgrown their containers and topped before they grow too tall. This lab will explain how to do these things and explore the reasons for doing so.It will also cover strategies and techniques for coaching vulnerable young seedlings into larger plants. Ways to prevent and deal with common seedling issues such as damping off and stretching will be reviewed.
Lab – Mothers & Cuttings
Keeping a mother plan to make clones from is very different from growing cannabis in the flowering stage. We will explore what it takes to keep and maintain a healthy mother plant and successfully propagate (root) clones that are taken from it. Proper medium preparation, a crucial part of propagation, will be covered in detail, as well as the required environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.
Vegetative Growth
The vegetative growth cycle is when your plant charges forward towards building the structure needed for your optimal yield. The plant has unique needs during this phase as well as potential challenges, so taking a thoughtful approach to the handling of this process is critical for your success. Strategies and best practices will be discussed and evaluated.
Mediums
How you choose and combine the appropriate mediums will support your cultivation strategy. Learn the different mediums used in cannabis growing and the details of their preparation when necessary. Learn about the pros/cons of each. Rockwool is currently the most diverse medium but is also slightly hazardous. See the OU method for conditioning rockwool, and experience the process yourself.
Ventilation
Proper ventilation is needed when growing cannabis. There are standards and practices for removing excess heat humidity and providing proper levels of CO2 to the plant. Students will be presented with different ways to achieve and maintain proper garden temperatures by using equipment such as ducting, fans and filters.
Lighting
There are several different methods for measuring the quantity and quality of light for growing cannabis. Review the proper choices of lighting for each stage of growth and the costs associated with each. Measurements of light will be explained and strategies for maximizing lighting potential will be presented.
Electrical Safety & Load Calculations
Electrical circuits have maximum loads depending on several factors. Different voltages are needed for different equipment. Learn about safe and responsible electrical use in regards to indoor horticulture equipment. Discuss electrical loads and how to calculate available electricity. The difference between 120v and 240v and the necessity of each will be covered and discussed. Observe how to connect and disconnect a ballast and lamp to a power source.
Nutrients and pH
Learn the importance of nutrients and ph for the growth of cannabis with help you best support your plant. What is the optimal time? Why are the full spectrum of essential nutrients only available to the plant within two ranges of ph specific to either soil or hydroponics? This class will review the problems that occur when ph goes out of range and how to correct them. The OU method for adjusting a nutrient mixture to the desired pH will be demonstrated and practiced.
Lab – Nutrients & pH: Measuring, Mixing & Adjusting
Mixing hydroponic nutrients to the proper strength and pH can be confusing, as can the meters necessary for accurately measuring each value. This lab explains how to do this and why it is so important. There are procedures that are important to follow and strict requirements that pH and PPM meters require to operate correctly, all of which will be covered in detail.
Nutrient Disorders
Nutrient disorders are common in both indoor and outdoor gardens. Plants can have either not enough or too much of a nutrient. Learn how to recognize nutrient deficiencies and excesses, the causes of nutrient disorders, and how to correct them in each type of medium. Observe the OU method correcting a nutrient disorder.
Lab – Sprays, Drenches & Compost Teas
Students will learn how to use organic sprays and drenches with cannabis for the prevention of pests and diseases. We will discuss the appropriate methods for the appropriate stage of growth.
Pests & Pathogens: Prevention & Treatment
Pests and pathogens infect both indoor and outdoor cannabis with great frequency and regularity. This can quickly destroy crops and/or make them unfit for human consumption in as quickly as 24 hours. Learn about the multitude of plant pests and pathogens that infect and devastate cannabis crops. Discuss ways to identify various pests and pathogens and learn about their unique life cycles, as well as the damage that they inflict. Strategies and substances for both preventative measures and treatment of active populations will be highlighted, with emphasis on prevention.
CO2 Supplementation
CO2 supplementation unlocks incredible hidden potentials in the growth of the cannabis plant. Learn why cannabis can use two to three times the atmospheric level of CO2, and the design features, equipment and instruments necessary to measure and maintain those levels. Discuss design strategies for controlling temperature, humidity and odor in the closed loop system which is critical to conserving injected CO2. Observe how to program the appropriate equipment and instruments to so proper ppm levels are maintained.
Organic Gardening
Organic gardening only uses fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides that are derived from natural sources. With an array of benefits, organic gardening also brings unique challenges. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of organic gardening and understand why cannabis is more important to grow organically than almost any other crop.
Plant Propagation
Cuttings and their propagation are crucial to commercial and private cannabis cultivation. Mothers and cuttings are usually the most efficient way to produce cannabis with known qualities and characteristics. Learn the pros and cons of using cuttings versus seeds, and the concept of “clone only” varieties. The OU method for taking and rooting a cutting will be demonstrated, and students will learn how to produce their own healthy cuttings.
Basics of Soil Science & Organics
The course presents a basic overview of the complex world that lives underneath the soil. This is coupled with a review of microbials, soil types, the soil food web and how these concepts correlate with plant physiology. This is followed by an examination of the key differences between synthetic/conventional and organic horticultural inputs, especially as they relate to the above soil science concepts. Additionally this course presents a brief history of organic methodologies and the advent of commercial/synthetic crop production through the lens of global history and industrialization. The class concludes with a thorough discussion of cannabis regulations and allowed inputs in commercial markets across the United States.
Life Cycle Fundamentals
The cannabis plant’s structures, parts, how to identify them, and the functions that each one will be examined. The differences between male and female A&P and their reproductive processes will be emphasized.
Strain Selection
This class is primarily looks at the genealogical history of the cannabis plant. The role of the ancient origin of a particular cannabis cultivar in the expression and growing qualities of the plant is reviewed. The various outlets for obtaining cannabis seed genetics are presented, as well as the benefits of growing from seed over clones in outdoor cannabis horticulture. Terpene expression over indica/sativa/ domination is thoroughly examined in tandem with the role of terroir and climate on cannabis strain’s unique growing capabilities outdoors.
Site Selection
Methods for searching and purchasing the most viable plots for outdoor cannabis production. Differences in lease and land purchase structures, as well as general costs and the impacts of cannabis cultivation on real estate bubbles. Permits and fees associated with outdoor and greenhouse cultivation in California. The role of county agencies in researching parcels of interest for purchase. Scale, size and the future of cultivation in a regulated marketplace, and how these elements impact a site’s cultivation viability.
Methods of Irrigation
There are many different ways of delivering water and nutrients to plants along with their advantages and disadvantages. There are different scenarios that are appropriate for each system, and the risks inherent in them. Review the different scenarios that are appropriate for each system and the risks inherent in each. Learn how evaluate and choose the correct system or systems for their particular grow scenario.
Sustainability
General overview of what the term sustainability means and the role of the cannabis community in the “green movement.” General concepts of alternative power methods as well as ancient and sustainable farming methods such as biodynamics and polyculture design are reviewed. Common aspects of cannabis cultivation that detract from sustainability are examined, and the history of synthetic fertilizer and pesticide use in human history is presented. The differences between outdoor and indoor cultivation through the lens of the creation of a cultivation space (indoor) and cultivating within an existing ecosystem (outdoor) are analyzed.
Land Preparation
A thorough examination of the basic setup, land clearing and preparation needed to start an outdoor cultivation site. This lecture also looks at the different types of cannabis cultivation modalities from pots to raised beds and the benefits/issues of each method. Garden designs for various climates as well as water sourcing, site protection, and amendment and soil sourcing for sustainability. Road maintenance, off-grid solutions and proper tree pruning are also presented.
Irrigation Systems
This course is an overview of the sourcing, pumping and storage of water for cultivation. An overview of current regulatory issues and concerns revolving around the use of water on cannabis crops is also presented. Environmental responsibility and water contamination issues are discussed, especially as they relate to outdoor cannabis production. Different storage methods for water are depicted along with the basic components of an irrigation system. Various filtration and water discharge methods are examined, through the lens of the unique needs of any given cultivation site.
Conditions for Optimal Growth
Conditions for optimal growth in cannabis means that all required factors are fully available at all times and in the appropriate ratios. Learn about the specific factors for optimal growth, including CO2 enrichment, PAR conservation via reflection, temperature and humidity parameters, and optimal nutrient levels. Review strategies for achieving these conditions and the major hurdles that are usually encountered in the path to that goal.
Veganics
Organics without the animal byproducts, ideal for small apartment living and use with automatic systems.
Harvesting Strategies
Cannabis flowers achieve peak ripeness for a short period of time in which it needs to be harvested. A narrow range of temperature and humidity is required for them to dry within the proper period of time and to prevent molds from destroying them. Understand the difference between wet trimming vs dry trimming. Review the different approaches to harvesting a crop of cannabis and the environmental conditions needed to properly dry, process and store cannabis flowers. Learn the importance of collecting all resin glands during this process, and the options for making them into secondary products such as bubble hash or BHO.
Early Flowering
The first several weeks of flowering requires specific observation. Learn how you ensure that growth is progressing at the rate that it should be. Understand the environmental conditions and nutrient requirements at this stage. A review of timeframes for canopy management and trellising will also be discussed.
Lab – Manicuring, Drying & Curing
Learn how to dry, manicure and cure cannabis after harvest. Determine when flowers are dry and how to manicure them and collect any material with glandular trichomes. Understand the vital curing process, why it's necessary, and the benefits.
Late Flowering
Late flowering is when the flowers increase the most in size and become most vulnerable to botrytis/rot. Plants have special needs during this period. Understand the nutrient and environmental needs of a late flowering plant and the diseases that are associated with it at this stage. Learn to identify, diagnose and take corrective action to keep flowering plants healthy until harvest.

Business of Cannabis Courses

We offer our Business of Cannabis program in 3 formats:
14-week Semesters, 5-day Seminars, and Online

The Business of Cannabis Program is a diverse curriculum including fundamentals such as history, the law, your rights, and the science of cannabis, cultivation, advocacy, compliant cannabis business, procurement & allocation, grading & managing inventory, security, taxes, banking & intellectual property concerns. 

The Business of Cannabis Semester is 14 weeks long, comprised of 18 individual classes. Classes meet once a week on Wednesdays. Semesters are held 3 times a year, click here for available course dates.

Classes will cover topics from General Education, Politics & History, Science, and Law to Business Management, Extraction Processes, and Cultivation taught by expert instructors comprised of industry leaders, attorneys, business owners, professional growers, and extractors. 

Semester students will be provided ample time for Q&A interaction with our expert instructors.

The Business of Cannabis Seminar is 5 days long, comprised of 18 individual classes.

The Business of Cannabis Seminar is offered once a month, click here for available course dates.

Classes will cover topics from General Education, Politics & History, Science, and Law to Business Management, Extraction Processes, and Cultivation taught by expert instructors comprised of industry leaders, attorneys, business owners, professional growers, and extractors.

Oaksterdam University’s The Business of Cannabis Online Course provides the most comprehensive education available for entering the Cannabis Industry. This course consists of resources, presentations, and mastery exercises developed by industry leaders. It is designed for anyone looking to learn about the cannabis industry and what to look for to start a business within the industry. 

This course is only available online. There are no scheduled times. You may complete the modules on your own schedule, and you will have 180 days to complete the course. A certificate of completion may be printed upon successfully passing the final exam.

Click here to learn more

Course Curriculum

Click the subjects below to read the class descriptions

History and Politics of Cannabis

This class covers the earliest known applications of cannabis, as well as the political history of cannabis, touching upon the key players and policies that have shaped the movement as we know it today.

Federal vs State Law

An overview of state and federal cannabis laws, public policies, rules, and regulations, this class explores how law enforcement agencies interpret and enact these laws. Students will review their personal rights and responsibilities, as well as how to successfully interact with members of the law enforcement community.

Scientific Research on Cannabis

This class discusses key concepts surrounding the safety and efficacy of cannabis. It provides insight into how conventional medications are assessed for therapeutic efficacy and acceptable safety, and then applies these same concepts to the cannabis plant.

Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis

This class introduces the endocannabinoid and explains how cannabinoids, derived from the cannabis plant, affect this system. The student learns about the primary cannabinoids (THC and CBD), the more established clinical benefits of cannabis-based therapies, and the potential side effects. While reviewing the existing scientific literature, the class addresses the myth that long-term use negatively impacts cognition and mental health.

Introduction to Extractions

This class explains where cannabinoids and terpenes are found in the cannabis flower, describes how trichomes protect the flower, and identifies the common types of terpenes. It then reviews the history of cannabis extraction, before diving into both the classical and contemporary extraction methods that are used to create flavorful and potent cannabis products.

Methods of Ingestion & Delivery Systems

There are many ways to consume cannabis, which business owners need to understand and be able to communicate with their patients and customers. This class teaches the various types of cannabis products on the market and the methods of ingesting those products, including vaping, smoking, edibles, topicals, and more. Knowing the pros and cons of each method is crucial to having a full understanding of the cannabis industry.

Plant Science

This class describes the cannabis plant and its optimal growing conditions, taking the student through the plant’s full life cycle, from seed propagation and vegetitative growth to flowering and harvesting.

Facility Design Requirements

The cannabis plant can be grown indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses. This class outlines all the crucial considerations when designing a cultivation operation, including location and zoning, planning, electrical safety, lighting technology, climate and odor control, and irrigation and fertigation systems.

Cultivation Financials

This class charts the financial landscape associated with commercial cultivation. Students learn why capital and operating expenditures for licensing, designing, building, launching, and operating a cannabis cultivation business far exceed the costs of doing the same for manufacturing, distribution, or retail. Students also learn about harvest cycle planning, budgeting and financial planning, and the main influences that either drive or curtail cannabis crop revenue in the market.

Regulation and Compliance

When compared to every other agricultural product, cannabis has the greatest density of regulations. Successfully licensing your cannabis cultivation operation requires an understanding of the complex relationships between local and state agencies, and the inside-out approach to permitting. In this class, the student learns about plant tracking, recycling and waste disposal, labor laws, the various agencies involved in cultivation compliance, and the types of regulatory models that have emerged.

Final Project: Cannabis Pro Forma

The Business of Cannabis Cultivation Final Project: Cannabis Pro Forma
Addressing the myriad business consideration of a cultivation operation, the student is asked to write an essay examining a five-year Pro Forma of an indoor cultivation operation.

Economics and Public Policy

This class defines basic economic concepts as they pertain to cannabis markets, such as competitive markets, supply and demand, shortages and surpluses, marginal cost, and marginal revenue. The student also gains a basic understanding of how public policy impacts markets.

The Economics of Legalization

This class defines both the legal and illegal markets that have emerged in the cannabis industry, and how those markets have evolved in states that have legislated adult-use and medical regulation. The economic benefits of the cannabis industry, namely tax revenue, job creation, domestic investment, and commercial revitalization, are used as arguments in favor of legalization and the ending of prohibition.

The New Cannabis Economy

This class recognizes the positive economic impact of emerging, regulated medical and adult-use cannabis markets in numerous states, and then identifies some of the unintended negative consequences of legalization.

The Fight Against Legalization

Reviewing in more detail the history of cannabis prohibition in the United States, this class identifies and discusses the stakeholders and policymakers who advocate against legalization and why.

Financial Barriers in the Cannabis Economy

This class identifies and discusses financial barriers that are unique and specific to the cannabis industry, and how those restrictions have impacted the evolution of the cannabis economy and kept the industry from becoming fully normalized.

Writing a Business Plan

This class defines and explains what is needed to build a strong business plan, teaching the student how to craft their value proposition, vision, and mission statements. These components then become the building blocks of the student’s business plan, informing their marketing strategy and corporate structure.

Choosing a Business Model

After reviewing the different types of business models, the student chooses whether their cannabis business will provide retail, cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, or other services. This class then considers the costs and benefits of vertical integration.

Brand Marketing

This class establishes the student’s brand position statement, brand name, and brand persona, and then defines and explains what is needed to build a solid marketing plan.

Intellectual Property

In today’s world of brands and intellectual property, it is increasingly important for the student to have a working knowledge of copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and geographical indicators in order to protect their business. In this class, the student learns about the IP challenges cannabis entrepreneurs face in light of the federal prohibition, and the rules that vary from state to state.

Business Registration and Licensing

This class reviews how the student should register a cannabis business at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as the licensing and permits that may be required for their business depending on their state and local jurisdiction.

Financial Management

This class introduces the financial management tools necessary for a cannabis business to remain competitive in today’s market. The student learns about gross profit margin, the difference between cash flow accounting and accrual accounting, and how to interpret financial statement reports.

Employee Hiring and Management

Considering that all employees are also brand ambassadors, this class demonstrates how to organize, hire, train, and retain employees who are committed to representing the student’s cannabis brand.

Federal Drug Policy and the Supremacy Clause

This class defines drug scheduling and the Supremacy Clause, and discusses the tension between the United States federal government and the state governments that have legalized medical or adult-use cannabis.

What is Advocacy, and Why is it Important?

This class defines advocacy as a form of marketing that promotes the value of the cannabis industry, and then explains its role in normalizing medical and adult-use cannabis. The class also compares the similarities between advocacy and politics, and describes the correlation between audience and message.

Looking to the Future of Cannabis Advocacy

An overview of growing public and political support for cannabis, this final class explores the emerging mainstream and political causes for the shift while looking forward to the increasing possibility of federal legalization.

Value of Engagement and Effective Advocacy Strategy

This class establishes the responsibility of advocacy engagement and discusses strategies for effective communication.

Enroll today or get in touch!