Richard Lee

Instructor: Advocacy, Cannabusiness, Horticulture, Politics & History

Richard Lee has been working to end cannabis prohibition for 20 years. In 1992 he co-founded Legal Marijuana – The Hemp Store in Houston, Texas, one of the first hemp products retail outlets in the United States. Lee moved to Oakland in 1997 and co-founded the Hemp Research Company, supplying cannabis to the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Club and researching efficient and environmentally friendly cannabis horticulture. In 1999, he opened the Bulldog Coffeeshop, the second cannabis outlet in “Oaksterdam”. In 2003 Lee founded the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance, the PAC that passed Oakland’s Measure Z making private sales, cultivation, and possession of cannabis the lowest law enforcement priority and mandating that Oakland tax and regulate cannabis as soon as possible under state law.

From 2005 to 2007, Lee published the Oaksterdam News quarterly newspaper with a circulation of over 100,000. In 2007, he founded the first cannabis college in the United States, Oaksterdam University, which now has over 15,000 alumni. In 2008 he funded the startup of the monthly magazine West Coast Cannabis, current circulation 30,000. Since 2005, Lee has been serving on the City of Oakland Cannabis Regulation and Revenue Ordinance Commission, which was created after Measure Z passed with 65% of the vote 2004. He manages several other Oaksterdam companies, including the Oaksterdam Gift Shop and Nursery. His dedication to ending cannabis prohibition continues to play a crucial role in the revitalization and economic growth of Oakland.

In 2009, Richard Lee kicked off a signature gathering effort that culminated in a ballot initiative to control, tax and regulate cannabis, known as Proposition 19. In a very tough election year, this campaign became the “debate heard round the world” and won more votes than any republican candidate on the ballot. Rev Hemp continues to persevere, and encourages California to “keep the faith”.

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Dale Sky Jones

Executive Chancellor
Instructor: Science, Business Management, Economics, Politics & History, Civics 101

Dale is based in Oakland, CA and is focused on enhancing the debate for cannabis policy reform throughout the country.  She took over as President of OU to ensure the legacy of cannabis education through Oaksterdam University to help support sustainable growth with quality training for the cannabis industry. Important initial steps include establishing the political and social climate that will encourage cannabis policy reform.

She is the Chairwoman of the Board for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, stemming from her experience as the spokeswoman and legislative liaison for the Prop 19 Campaign in California.  Dale has interviewed with news, entertainment and journalism sources such as Al Jazeera English, BBC, CBS Evening News, CNN, Discovery Channel, FOX News, FOX Business News, History Channel, MSNBC, NPR, Telemundo, Univision, AOL, AP, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Sacramento Bee, Wall Street Journal and is featured in many other publications and documentaries both foreign and domestic.  Named by Marie Claire as one of the most influential women in the industry; she has a voice in setting national priorities and is an expert commentator on current events.

Dale is on the boards of directors for Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM).  Within her mission for safety through self-regulation, she helped establish a medical cannabis safety council in early 2008 with cannabis industry stakeholders, which spawned several safety programs.

Dale is focused on overall civil rights issues, while developing avenues through which patients, doctors, providers, and regulating authorities can be more confident in the medical cannabis continuum, from the plant to the patient.  Her remaining time is spent in legislative and local government meetings, attending various research and policy conferences, local community meetings and debates, and trying to keep up with industry news and e-mail.  Dale and her husband, veteran drug policy crusader Jeff Jones, stay busy keeping up with their little son, Jackson Wolf Jones and their new born Jesse Drake Jones.

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Dr. Aseem Sappal

Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Professor: Business, Science, Economics, Civics 101

Dr. Aseem Sappal is Provost and Dean of the Faculty for Oaksterdam University; as such, he serves as the corporate CFOO and Chief Academic Officer. His responsibilities include directing operations, developing faculty, financial management, international affairs, R&D, strategic growth & partnerships.

He is a Professor of Business, Science, Civics and Dispensary Operations, representing Oaksterdam University internationally as a subject matter expert to local and state government agencies, health care professionals, business leaders, politicians and the media while promoting education and improving public awareness.

Dr. Sappal holds a Medical Degree from India, serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Health Research Institute, which works with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, is on the board of the Public Education Program Fund and is an advisor for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR) and ReformCA.

Dr. Sappal consults as an expert advisor and evaluator for medical marijuana licensee applications for state governments throughout the United States. He also consults local, state and international governments regarding cannabis regulations and protocol.

He lectures regularly at cannabis business conferences, often appears on media discussions as an expert, and writes for numerous publications on the subjects of business, dispensary operations, security and compliance. Dr. Sappal is responsible for training numerous medical practitioners, government officials, business executives, managers and investors on issues of compliance and best business practices.

He works with current and retired law enforcement officers regarding industry security principles and procedures. OU courses have gone on the road internationally under his leadership, which includes founding the school’s first international research and development program. Dr. Sappal has developed and oversees our marketing dept. and media dept., has produced and directed the school’s video content and commercials and is the creator of Oaksterdam TV.

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Amanda N. Connor

Professor: Nevada Legal 101

Amanda N. Connor was raised in Deming, New Mexico. After graduating valedictorian from high school, Amanda attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts.

Amanda then received a Masters in Education from the University of California San Diego, also graduating Magna Cum Laude. While working as a dual language kindergarten teacher in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Amanda received her Masters of Administration from New Mexico State University graduating with Honors. Amanda then attended the University of New Mexico School of Law where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.During law school, Amanda was an editor on the New Mexico Law Review and active in several student organizations.

Since leaving law school Amanda’s practice has focused on cannabis law, business formation and litigation. Amanda worked for Peifer, Hansen & Mullins, P.A. in Albuquerque, New Mexico and for Albuquerque Business Law before starting a boutique law firm – Connor & Connor PLLC – with her husband. Connor & Connor PLLC practices in personal injury, business law, and provides legal advice regarding medical marijuana laws. Amanda is licensed to practice in Nevada and New Mexico.


Chad Gilmore

Chad Gilmore

Instructor: Methods of Ingestion: Extracts

Chad got involved in 2002 when he came to work at the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative (OCBC). Chad is on the Board of Directors for the OCBC, now known as The Patient ID Center. Chad manages the hemp store, containing healthy assimilation devices, growing tools, as well as accessory items, all to be made of hemp or produced for cannabis and hemp technologies. He has focused his efforts on advocating information and education to patients.

Chad works with the Medical Cannabis Association, a trade organization to help network organizations and groups all focused on providing safe and healthy cannabis to patients. Chad graduated with a business accounting background but has always been into the science of chemistry and physics. In his spare time, he enjoys playing competitive tennis and teaching tennis lessons. When he has a little extra time to play, Chad finds turning to surfing, skydiving, scuba diving, and rock climbing always gets the heart pumping.


Chris Conrad

Instructor: Politics & History

Author, Cannabis Yields and Dosage

Chris Conrad is a court-qualified expert witness on cannabis (marijuana) who has testified more than 200 times in state, military and federal courts. He is also expert on industrial hemp, religious and medical cannabis use. A curator of the Hash-Marijuana-Hemp Museum in Amsterdam, he grew and processed cannabis legally in Europe and worked at the famous Cannabis Castle.

He is author of Hemp: Lifeline to the Future, Shattered Lives: Portraits From America’s Drug War, and other books. His groundbreaking book on medical marijuana, Hemp for Health, has been translated into six languages and published in Argentina under the title Cannabis para la Salud. His latest booklet, Cannabis Yields and Dosage, explains basic principles of cultivation and consumption of medical marijuana as well as the legal issues. He presented this research at the Fifth International Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in 2008.He and his wife Mikki Norris were volunteer coordinators for California’s Proposition 215 that legalized medical marijuana in 1996, and cofounders of Human Rights and the Drug War. He has worked with legal medical marijuana patients, caregivers and support groups; consults regularly with doctors, attorneys and legislators; and directs Safe Access Now www.safeaccessnow.net. Conrad was cofounder and first president of the Hemp Industries Association, editor of Oaksterdam News from 2005 to 2007.

Conrad is currently publisher of the West Coast Leaf newspaper, political science instructor at Oaksterdam University, and a legal consultant. You can contact him via www.ChrisConrad.com and get links to his books and other sites from there.

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Dave McCullick

Instructor: Patient Relations, Procurement & Allocation, Dispensary Operations, Business Management

A US Navy Veteran, Dave opened his first dispensary called D&M Compassion Center in 2005. In 2008, Dave opened Sonoma Patient Group in Santa Rosa and sold D&M Compassion Center. Dave also sponsored Lake Counties first Medical Cannabis Cup.

That same year Dave was an auditor in some of the early Oaksterdam classes and in 2009 started teaching at Oaksterdam both in Oakland and the North Bay campus.

Debby Goldsberry

Debby Goldsberry

Instructor:  Patient Relations, Procurement & Allocation, Dispensary Operations, Business Management

Debby Goldsberry is a leader 25 years strong in the medical cannabis industry and marijuana policy reform. She co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) medical cannabis collective in 1999, setting the gold standard for best practices and community involvement. Directing its growth over 11 years, averaging 70 employees and up to 1,000 customer visits per day, Ms. Goldsberry developed and implemented standard operating procedures for procurement, product safety, patient relations, and business management and operations that have been replicated by dispensaries around the nation.
As a community leader, Debby co-founded and directed Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the Medical Cannabis Safety Council (MCSC), and Cannabis Action Network (CAN). She is a board member at California NORML, is a former board member of the Marijuana Policy Project, and teaches Procurement and Patient Relations (Budtending) for Oaksterdam University. She has proven experience in business and human resources management, public and government relations, as well as product development and marketing.

Ms. Goldsberry is currently the Ambassador at Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, CA and at Bloom Well in Bend, OR, two model medical cannabis dispensaries. Debby assists workers through the collective bargaining process and joins the CCPR board on behalf of United Food & Commercial Workers’ Union in the Medical Cannabis and Hemp Division.

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Deidra Bagdasarian “Miss Bliss”

Instructor: Methods of Ingestion: Cooking

Deidra Bagdasarian started her advocacy and involvement in the marijuana legalization movement with Phoenix NORML. Inspired by the medicinal and therapeutic effects of cannabis, and paired with her background as a baker and caterer, she was naturally drawn to edibles. She set out to demystify the art of cannabis extraction and create something beyond edible, something that could be called bliss. Her highly successful results prompted her and her husband to move to San Francisco to become part of the medicinal marijuana movement. In 2009, Deidra became co-founder and chief baker of Bliss Edibles, a non-profit medicinal marijuana edibles collective. She and her partner/husband have made Bliss Edibles available to patients in over 30 dispensaries throughout California, including Oaksterdam’s own Coffeeshop Blue Sky. Bliss Edibles classic bakery style confections have made them a leader in the industry after winning 2nd Place in the Edibles Category of the 2010 High Times Medical Cannabis Cup and being named one of SF Weekly’s Top 5 Edibles. Deidra’s creative and scientific approach to cannabis extraction, along with her extensive baking knowledge, allowed her to create truly unique, simple, infusion methods which she enthusiastically shares with her students at Oaksterdam.


Ed Rosenthal

Instructor: Horticulture 102

Mr. Rosenthal is the pothead’s answer to Ann Landers, Judge Judy, Martha Stewart and the Burpee Garden Wizard all in one.” –NY Times January 2003.

Ed Rosenthal is recognized worldwide as an authority on marijuana. He has studied and written about the plant for more than 35 years. His books cover gardening, law and social policy, and have cumulatively sold over two million copies. Rosenthal is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and the Garden Writers Association of America, and has served as an expert witness on marijuana cultivation in federal and state trials. Rosenthal has also been active in promoting and developing policies of civil regulation for medical marijuana. With the passage of California’s pioneering Prop 215 in 1996, which authorizes medicinal use of marijuana, he was deputized by the city of Oakland, CA to provide pharmaceutical grade cannabis to patients. His best-selling titles include; Medical Marijuana Handbook, Marijuana Garden Saver, Best of Ask Ed, and Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, among others.

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Edie Lerman, Esq

Professor: Legal 101, Cultivation Law

Operating out of Ukiah and San Francisco, California, Edie Lerman has been committed to providing unsurpassed legal services to individuals, collectives, and businesses. Offering consultations to all types of professionals in reference to cannabis related matters. She specializes in Consultation and defense services, available to individuals as well as collectives who wish to protect their rights.

Edie Lerman has been a patient advocate licensed to practice law in the state of California since 2006. She has represented and continues to represent lawyers, doctors, patients, collectives, cooperatives, and brick & mortar dispensaries in both civil, criminal and administrative courts. Edie has been advising agencies, operators and individuals on the subject of medical cannabis helping them navigate the very confusing and ever changing laws.

Edie is admitted to practice law both federally and in California. In 2012 she was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of U.S. in Washington DC. Edie has never lost a medical cannabis trial.

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Eric Sterling

Professor: Politics & History

Eric E. Sterling has been President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation since 1989.

Eric has been active in marijuana law reform for 39 years without interruption since he joined NORML in 1976. As a third year law student he testified for marijuana decriminalization before the Pennsylvania legislature and then ran a NORML chapter in Delaware County, PA from 1977 to 1979.

Currently he is serving a four-year term on the State of Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission and recently completed two terms as Chair of the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council in Montgomery County, MD.

From 1979 to 1989, Eric worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as Assistant Counsel to the House Committee on the Judiciary, responsible for writing and overseeing federal laws regarding gun control, money laundering, organized crime, pornography, and drugs.  He previously served as an Assistant Public Defender in Delaware County, PA. He is a graduate of Villanova University Law School and Haverford College.

Eric began to work on medical marijuana in 1981 helping Bob Randall and Alice O’Leary start the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics in their apartment in Washington, DC. He helped, anonymously, to write the 1982 report of the National Task Force on Cannabis Regulation. In 1986, he was one of the first members to join the Drug Policy Foundation, now the Drug Policy Alliance.

Eric has testified for marijuana reform at over a dozen legislative hearings in five states. He has organized continuing legal education programs on medical marijuana for the American Bar Association and moderated forums on marijuana issues for the New York City Bar Association, at Georgetown University Law Center, and for the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers.

He has spoken at countless protests, rallies and conferences for marijuana and drug policy reform at numerous universities, professional societies, festivals and government agencies.

Eric serves on the boards of directors of Families Against Mandatory Minimums – FAMM, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy – SSDP, and on the Advisory Boards of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – LEAP; Americans for Safe Access – ASA, and Can-Do Justice Through Clemency. He is Vice Chairman of Marijuana Majority. In 1993, he helped found the Marijuana Policy Project and served on its board of directors for 13 years.

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Felicia Shaw

Instructor: Topical Applications

Felicia is the owner of Mystic Herbal Body Care and has been making Topical Cannabis products that have been stocked in 15 cannabis clubs in the bay area including Harborside Health Center.
She also has one body care shop in the downtown area.
Felicia has been a “Soap Crafter” for over 8 years.
She is also a graduate from Oaksterdam University 2009 where she was inspired to create a line of topical cannabis products.

Learn more about Felicia and her products here.

James Anthony

James Anthony, Esq.

In January 2006, after serving as a zoning prosecutor in the Oakland City Attorney’s office, James started a full-time private practice specializing in medical cannabis dispensary land use law. James assists collectives in staying in compliance with state and local law, and defends collectives from local government lawsuits trying to shut them down. James also has deep political experience writing initiatives and running campaigns in Berkeley, San Jose, Santa Ana (Orange County), and other cities and counties around the state.

James’ experiences as an Oakland Deputy City Attorney and as a drug policy activist put him at the forefront of this emerging area of law. When James worked for Oakland, he was City Hall’s lawyer and helped the government permit “good”—and shut down “bad”—businesses. Now he can be your lawyer, using his experience on the inside to strengthen your chance of being left alone.

If local government ever tries to bully you into shutting down, James can give you the fighting chance to stay open. If you are ever harassed by local government telling you that you must “cease and desist” or ordering you to “abate the nuisance,” call James for a realistic appraisal of the strength of the City’s case. It’s time to work with City Hall and with our neighbors to create collectives that are recognized and respected for their positive contributions to our communities. If City Hall is afraid to legislate, we should take it to a vote of the people. A positive relationship with City Hall and your community can promote years of successful operation.



James Clark, Esq.

Professor: Legal 101, Civics 102

For more than a decade, James Clark has been dedicated to fighting on behalf of the victims of America’s “war on drugs.” As an attorney, he has devoted his practice for six years on litigating constitutional, civil, and human rights issues in state and federal courts. His focus is on defending people accused of cannabis related crimes, with the vast majority of his cases involving medical cannabis issues and defenses.

He has worked with the San Francisco City Counsel and Police Department to develop ordinances relating to cannabis law enforcement in general as well as medical cannabis dispensaries, and he has lobbied other cities and counties to adopt sensible and legal ordinances. Recently, Mr. Clark has coauthored two state ballot initiatives that seek to overhaul California’s criminal codes relating to cannabis. Finally, James regularly speaks at continuing professional education seminars for doctors and attorneys. He also lectures on exercising constitutional rights during protests or other police encounters, as well as the laws that impact medical cannabis at Oaksterdam University.A National Merit scholarship recipient at the University of Houston, James Clark graduated with Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Political Science and Anthropology, he subsequently received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado.

Mr. Clark has worked extensively with NORML, Americans for Safe Access, Cannabis Action Network, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, AIM Legal, Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the National Lawyers Guild, and numerous other local and regional drug law reform groups and medical cannabis patients groups. Mr. Clark has received awards from Bay Area patients’ groups, and regularly provides commentary for international, national, and local media on cannabis law and drug law reform issues.

James J. Clark Law Offices P.C.
7770 Healdsburg Avenue, Suite A
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Sonoma: (707) 823-4209
Oakland: (510) 420-8484
Facsimile: (707) 861-9187
e-mail: james.clark@colorado.edu


James Silva, Esq

Professor: Legal 101, Civics 102

James Silva is a cancer survivor and a defense attorney with an office in Oakland, California. Mr. Silva’s practice is dedicated to the defense of people who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, consultations with qualified patients and primary caregivers who intend to associate to collectively or cooperatively under the protections of California’s emerging and evolving medical cannabis laws, and issues regarding the reform of local, state and federal laws related to cannabis use.

Mr. Silva is an experienced trial attorney who has litigated in the state courts in Southern and Northern California, as well as the outlying desert counties, and is admitted to practice in the Federal District Courts for the Central and Northern Districts of California. Most notably, Mr. Silva was on the defense team that defended several medical cannabis dispensaries against a federal civil injunction brought by the United States government in a 1998 case that went to the United States Supreme Court known as, United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, 532 U.S. 483, 121 S.Ct. 1711, 149 L.Ed.2d 722 (U.S. 05/14/2001).

The Law Office of James M. Silva
370 Grand Avenue, Suite 3, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 350-7724; Fax: (510) 350-0418
e-mail: JMSILVAESQ@gmail.com


Jeff Jones

Instructor: Horticulture, Advocacy, Methods of Ingestion: Extracts

Jeff Jones has provided expertise in the medical cannabis field to Californians for over twenty years.  Jeff’s horticulture knowledge, troubleshooting skills and easy manner make learning the basics easy for beginners and a challenge for the experts.  Jeff co-founded the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative (OCBC) in 1995 simultaneously creating the downtown cannabis-friendly area known as “Oaksterdam” (named after the first two cities to regulate marijuana).  With Jeff’s assistance, the City of Oakland became the first U.S. City to contract with a medical cannabis provider back in 1998, and implement a successful city program to issue compassionate provider permits in June of 2004.  Jeff proved self-regulatory practices that would eventually become the tenants of Senate Bill 420 and the Attorney General Guidelines of 2008.

Jones was named defendant in the OCBC Federal Civil case, one of the longest-running medical cannabis cases in history as it traveled all the way through the Supreme Court; the first to ask the question for medical necessity patients.  His active involvement with the Patient ID Center (formerly OCBC) has shared his expertise with hundreds of thousands of medical cannabis patients, professionals and experts. The mission carries on the tradition of issuing private ID cards and offering patient services, education, and referrals to compassionate provider groups, caregivers and lawyers in California. Jeff also helped establish Alameda County Patient Services, which provided patients and caregivers official Medical Marijuana ID cards in Alameda County, California. He has been educating professionally as the horticulture expert, politics and history instructor for Oaksterdam University since 2007.

In 2010, Jeff Jones was co-proponent of the Prop 19 Tax and Regulate Cannabis Act, hoping to take the target off the backs of medical patients. Jeff now serves on the Board of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR) and has two young sons with Dale Sky Jones.



Joey Ereneta

Lead Horticulture Instructor

Horticulture 101 & Horticulture 102

Joey has been an avid cultivator, teacher and cannabis liberation activist for the last 20 years. He began his work with medical cannabis in 1994, while attending U.C. Berkeley, when he collaborated with the folks at Cannabis Action Network, who were providing underground care to Bay Area medical patients. Through years of local and statewide political involvement, Joey also worked as a health and wellness educator with the Berkeley Free Clinic, with UCSF’s Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, at LYRiC, (an LGBT youth center in San Francisco), and at the Harm Reduction Coalition in Oakland.

Joey began teaching at Oaksterdam University in 2007, and has helped build our expansive horticulture curriculum. He also runs a private consulting company, Let It Grow Consulting, helping local patients/collectives and large-scale commercial growers across the nation to navigate the ever-growing and changing, cannabis cultivation industry.

Joey is a strong proponent of sustainable methods for organic cultivation. He has committed his life to demystifying the stigma around this important plant medicine, and to educating and supporting the patients who benefit from its myriad therapeutic and healing effects. He feels blessed to be part of the Oaksterdam family, and is thrilled to be passing on what he has learned along the way…




John Geluardi

Instructor: Economics

John Geluardi has worked as a journalist for 15 years. He has primarily covered politics and won numerous awards for his stories on subjects such as shoddy homicide investigations in the San Francisco Police Department, The vice presidential candidacy of Matt Gonzales and a behind the scenes look at the world famous Caffe Trieste.

He is a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley’s journalism school and the author of “Cannabiz: The Explosive Rise of the Medical Marijuana Industry,” which was one of the first books to look at the industry’s unprecedented transformation from a social movement into a thriving industry. Geluardi has traveled around the United States and Europe to speak about medical cannabis and the new place it now holds in society.

Party Crashers: The Vice Presidential Candidacy of Matt Gonzalez
Stiffed: The SFPD is Hiding Homicides
Harvey Milk and Dan White


Kristin Nevedal

Instructor: Outdoor Horticulture

Kristin Nevedal is a certified traditional Chinese medical herbalist, nutritionist, and massage therapist.  A longtime Humboldt County resident and homesteader, she has spent over 15 years specializing in organic no till farming techniques, non-toxic disease and pest management, agricultural compliance, and nursery operations.

As chair of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee’s Cultivation Working Group, Kristin assisted in the development of cannabis cultivation model regulations and best practices for agency consideration. The model regulations address issues from seed to sale (retailer, manufacturer, or wholesaler), destruction of plant matter due to contamination, overproduction or unusable portions (stalks and rootballs), and harvesting, drying and trimming protocols for handling and hygiene.

Kristin is also co-founder and board chair of the Emerald Growers Association whose mission is to promote the medicinal, environmental, social, and economic benefits of lawfully cultivated sun-grown medical cannabis from California’s Emerald Triangle region by advocating for public policies that foster a healthy, sustainable medical cannabis industry.  She also teaches these methods for Oaksterdam University.  Kristin’s broad policy and advocacy experience also includes serving as a board member for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM), Americans for Safe Access’s Patients First Certification Program, and the 420 Archives.

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Kali Grech, Esq

Professor: Legal 101 and Civics 102

Kali S. Grech knew her passion and calling to practice Marijuana Defense at a young age. She worked hard to realize her dream and now enjoys her work, and successes, immensely.

Kali earned her JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2005, and thereafter, spent time working as a public defender and as an associate attorney at a criminal defense firm, where she represented a vast array of clients in a wide range of criminal cases. Kali received the honor of opening her own practice, at the legendary Pier 5 law offices, in January of 2009.

Recently Kali opened her own marijuana defense firm: Green Street Law Group, located in San Francisco, Ca. She is honored and humbled to be working with a team that shares her vigor and boundless passion for justice, and she looks forward to achieving even greater success for her clients.Kali specializes in marijuana cases, medical marijuana affirmative defense cases, and Rastafarian religious defense cases. She has represented clients all over California and the U.S, with great success. She has published numerous chapters in the CEB Manual for attorneys dealing with scientific evidence in drug cases. She also wholeheartedly enjoys her role teaching medical marijuana patients about the law and their rights at Oaksterdam University.

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Kyle Kushman

Kyle Kushman
Instructor: Horticulture, Veganics

Kyle Kushman is an internationally renowned marijuana cultivator whose collaborations have earned 13 Medical Cannabis Cups awards, including three US Cannabis Cups for Best Flowers. All awards were earned by utilizing Kushman’s Vegamatrix, winner of the coveted STASH Award from High Times Magazine in 2014, hailed as the best new nutrient on the market.

Kyle Kushman is a 30 year veteran of Organic Cannabis Cultivation. After working the Q&A section of their new website for several years, Kyle was hired as a staff journalist and cultivation expert for High Times magazine. In 2004 Kyle left New York and his job at High Times to go back to cultivating and experimenting with organic growing. California provided a legal atmosphere to grow. Kyle started Karma Consulting in 2006; a consulting service for Proposition 215 medicinal cannabis gardens.

Kushman’s articles have been featured in High Times Magazine for over 20 years. In 2009 he began teaching advanced horticulture classes at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California. Later that year, Kyle began cultivating with his own formulation of Veganics. He taught Earth- Friendly Cannaculture classes using organics and Veganics at the OU Oakland Campus, their North Bay campus at Peace In Medicine in Sebastopol, and in Ann Arbor Michigan to a class of over 300 students. Kushman Veganics is featured in the Jan. 2011 issue of High Times with a full 12 pages; coincidentally it was High Times’ 420th issue! Since then, there have been numerous articles published nationally about Kyle and his innovative techniques including the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone, Forbes and the New York Times to name a few.

Kyle blogs regularly on KyleKushman.com where growers can discuss all aspects of cultivation. Kyle has studied and used almost every nutrient, gadget and piece of equipment on the market today. As an internationally renowned cultivator and Cannabis Cup winner, he continues to contribute as a freelancer on a regular basis to many national and international publications. In addition, Kyle has been working on a book and DVD on the subject of earth-friendly Veganics. Additional projects in the works include Kushman Veganics, Kushman Genetics and Kushman Brands, where award winning flowers, genetics and various premier cannabis related items will be available on a national scale. Kyle has dedicated his life to understanding cannabis cultivation and to help normalize its use. This year, Kyle and Oaksterdam University partnered for the most exciting project yet: to bring Kyle’s Veganic Horticulture to the world through online education.

The innovator of compassion and compromise, Kyle’s free information and resources have helped countless numbers of marijuana growers, and the benefits have extended to millions of patients around the globe. Society has leaped into a generation of sharing information at the speed of light. With a few clicks on an electronic device, we can transcend our thoughts and ideals to thousands upon thousands of people. You may find Kyle teaching all phases of organic cultivation across the country! Kyle hosts “The Grow Show” on CannabisRadio.Com which features growing tips of the week, interviews with industry experts and discusses the changing climate of cannabis culture. Kyle can be found on KyleKushman.com, Vegamatrix.net, Oaksterdam.com, Facebook and Instagram.

As the creator of Vegamatrix™, the only line of vegan and organic nutrients designed for cannabis, Kyle continues to make advances for people who want to cultivate “simply the purest, cleanest medicine possible.”


Lauren Vazquez, Esq

Professor: Legal Business Structures, Legal 101, Civics 102

Lauren Vazquez is the Fired Up Lawyer. She has worked for nearly a decade to end cannabis prohibition and advance alternatives to the failed war on drugs. Her law practice focuses on the medical cannabis community providing advice and legal services to advocacy groups, collectives, cooperatives, vendors, and cultivators.
Lauren is currently helping to organize patients and the community to support Oaksterdam University and Harborside Health Center during the recent federal crackdown in California. She is also working to end cannabis prohibition for all people not just patients as a volunteer with the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, the organization leading the effort for legalization in California.

Lauren has a long and successful history of promoting cannabis law reform and other social justice issues. She began her career in 2004 by restarting the UC Santa Barbara chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). In recognition of her achievements with the chapter, NORML named Lauren 2006 Student Activist of the Year.

Lauren graduated Santa Clara University’s School of Law in 2009 and shortly thereafter helped found the Silicon Valley Chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). She organized patients, community members, and industry leaders to build support for safe access to medical cannabis for the two million people living in the South Bay. During her tenure San Jose went from one storefront collective to a thriving cannabis industry estimated at $50 million annually.


Luke S. Zimmerman

Professor: Intellectual Property, Copyright Law, and Trademarking

Luke Zimmerman, Esq. LL.M is the founding and principal of The Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman APC. Luke obtained his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Oregon at Eugene and then graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in San Diego California.  His interest in international trade and investment law led him to the Netherlands where he obtained a Masters of Law from the University of Amsterdam. The focus of his master thesis was the effect of bi-lateral trade agreements on the harmonization of intellectual property standards.His experiences living in Amsterdam and observations of the paradigm shift surrounding cannabis lead Luke to believe that the end of cannabis prohibition would be the future of The United States. Based on this idea, Luke formed The Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman APC, where he assists entrepreneurs in the emerging cannabis industry and helps them protect their intellectual property. A core mission of the Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman is drug policy reform, which is why Luke volunteers on the Clemency Project 2014. Luke currently splits his time working with clients in California, as well as nationally on trademark issues. Luke is also certified by Oaksterdam University, in both, beginner and advanced courses.


Matthew Abel

Professor: Legal

Matthew R. Abel has been a criminal defense lawyer with a special focus on marijuana cases for more than 20 years.

Mr. Abel’s Detroit-based law office capably handles marijuana possession, trafficking and distribution cases throughout the state of Michigan. His marijuana-specific practice areas include smuggling issues on the U.S.-Canadian border, asset forfeiture that victimizes clients and questionable drug testing procedures.

When he is not passionately advocating for the rights of doctors, patients, cultivators and caregivers, Matthew R. Abel is an equally passionate activist for changes in marijuana laws. His quest for justice for marijuana defendants led to his participation in the political process as a Green Party candidate. Mr. Abel has stood for public office six times in Michigan.

Few lawyers in America are as committed to your rights related to the use of marijuana and to the repeal of marijuana laws criminalizing its usage than Matthew R. Abel. If you have been arrested for medical, recreational or religious use of marijuana, contact his Detroit law office immediately for a consultation.

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Mel Frank

Special Instructor

Mel Frank, the pen name of James J. Goodwin, was born in Lynn, MA, 1944. Goodwin served as a shipboard electronics technician in the US navy, 1963-1967. Upon completion of service, he moved to New York City, where he began growing marijuana in 1968.

The Mel Frank pen name first appeared in 1971 in the New York Flyer of Rolling Stone, where he authored a two-part series on marijuana growing under fluorescent lights. After reading this series, Ed Rosenthal contacted Frank, convincing him to collaborate on a marijuana growing book, culminating in the 1974 publication of the Marijuana Growers’ Indoor/Outdoor Guide, by Level Press, San Francisco.

When High Times magazine began in 1974, Frank was the first to answer readers’ questions, and he followed by contributing dozens of articles and photographs that helped establish High Times as the leading resource magazine for growers. As home-grown marijuana, notably sinsemilla (seedless racemes, popularly known as buds) earned its deserved reputation as superior to imported marijuana, “growing your own” rapidly gained in popularity. New magazines to serve home growers and consumers soon appeared, and Frank’s numerous articles and cover photos graced High Times, Hi Life, Head, Marijuana Papers and Skunk in the United States, and Red Eye magazine in the United Kingdom. Head magazine called Frank the “Godfather of marijuana growers.”

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Michael “Big Mike” Parker

Lead Horticulture Technician

Big Mike is steeped in the legacy and tradition not just of Oaksterdam University, but the American cannabis cultivation movement lauding from the radical 1960s- 1970s political era.

With more than five decades of experience cultivating cannabis, Big Mike brings a holistic and unique perspective to his role as the Lead Horticulture Technician at Oaksterdam.  Truly a “grass-roots” grower, Big Mike has been instructing new generations of cannabis cultivators here at the university since 2008.

Big Mike is the CEO of both the Oaksterdam Nursery (since 2012) and Oaksterdam “Cones” (since 2010).  Oaksterdam “Cones” provides high-quality, tested, pre-rolled cannabis medicine to eager patients at Magnolia Wellness Center in Oakland, CA.

Big Mike’s contributions to cannabis cultivation and education are rooted in one simple fact: “ When I was 16 years old I could no longer afford the cannabis I was using, so I figured…I have to start growing it!”

For the last forty years Mike has drawn upon, trained with and been mentored by such legendary cultivators as Ed Rosenthal and Kyle Kushman.  He is inspired every day to share his experiences and knowledge with the students and alumni of Oaksterdam.

Big Mike lives in Oakland, is an avid Harley-Davidson enthusiast, is proud to be the father of eight children and enjoys riding his “hog” and hanging with his Chihuahua, Midnight.

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Mike Whitty

Professor: Advocacy

Professor Mike Whitty has taught at the OU in Ann Arbor, Michigan and in Oakland, California. Mike also teaches drug policy and advocacy at the University of Michigan and global trends at the University of San Francisco. Mike has been active with NORML, ACLU, Americans for Safe Accessand the Drug Policy Alliance. Mike has authored “Healing the Heart and Mind: Cannabis and Human Conscious” and ”Linking Drug Policy with Civil Rights to End the racist Drug War” along with many public talks on political advocacy. Our OU family knows him as Dr Detroit.


Natalie Darves, M.B.A.

Professor: Sustainability, Soil Science and Organics, Outdoor Horticulture, and Irrigation.

A certified master gardener, Natalie is a lifelong advocate for social reform, sustainable horticulture, and community development. After receiving her BA in Sociology with Honors from the University of Oregon, Natalie went on to earn an Executive MBA in Wine Business at Sonoma State University. She has successfully executed projects of all sizes for wine and cannabis companies alike, contributing key insights and strategic partnerships every time. As is a leader in both sustainable outdoor cannabis horticulture and business progressivism, Natalie is a proponent of closed-loop, “beyond organic” models and has worked with numerous cannabis-cultivation groups to drive policy reform and develop farming best practices. She is the lead professor of outdoor horticulture at Oaksterdam University.

Natalie Darves can be reached at:

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Nicole Howell Neubert, Esq.

Professor of MMRSA & Cannabusiness 102

Nicole Howell Neubert is a “go-to” business lawyer for the cannabis industry in California and beyond.  Her sharp intellect, thorough analysis, and fierce client-commitment are complimented by her uniquely well-rounded set of skills, industry expertise and wide-ranging, relevant legal experience.

A trusted counselor and relentless advocate, Nicole serves as outside general counsel to the cannabis field, providing advice on matters of corporate and business counseling, entity formation and operation, business litigation, and regulatory permitting and compliance.

Her clients include both the pioneers and new leaders of the burgeoning medical marijuana and cannabis industry, including medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives across California, storefront dispensaries, delivery services, technology companies, Indian-owned cannabis businesses, investors, and qualified patients creating amazing cannabis products and services.

Nicole brings to her cannabis practice a decade of experience as a criminal and civil litigator during which she developed her business transactional practice.  She has represented individuals, fiduciaries, and businesses both in the boardroom – regarding business and corporate legal issues – and in state and federal courts – in a full range of complex business litigation, parallel civil, criminal and regulatory actions, high-stakes tort, trade secret, and employment litigation, as well as trust and estate disputes.  Her litigation clients value her ability to quickly understand the technical aspects and human dynamics of each set of facts, and the tenacity she applies to achieving the client’s goal in every matter.

Prior to founding Clark Neubert LLP, Nicole was an senior attorney with San Francisco’s premier boutique civil and criminal defense firm Clarence Dyer & Cohen LLP where she practiced for eight years, after starting her career at the preeminent firm of Farella Braun + Martel LLP.

Since 2012, Nicole has been named each year a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine and recognized for several years running as an “Attorney to Watch” by Chambers and Partners USA.  Nicole serves on the Board of California NORML and the policy committee for California Growers Association, teaches legal courses at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, and is an active member of several other industry-related organizations.

Nicole is a licensed in California and Oregon, received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, completed coursework in the L.L.M., Taxation program at Golden Gate University, and attended undergraduate at Fairfield University.


Paul Armentano

Professor: Science
Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws, and a Senior Policy Advisor at Freedom Leaf, Inc.

His writing and research have appeared in over 750 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals, as well as in more than a dozen textbooks and anthologies. He is the co-author of the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (2009, Chelsea Green), which has been licensed and translated internationally. His most recent book, The Citizen’s Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (2015), is available from Whitman Publishing. His writing also appears in the just-published book, The Medical Marijuana Dispensary: Understanding, Medicating, and Cooking with Cannabis (2016), available from Althea Press.

Mr. Armentano was the principle investigator for defense counsel in US v Schweder et al., the first federal evidentiary hearing in over 40 years to consider the constitutionality of cannabis as a schedule I controlled substance. He was also a rebuttal expert in the successful Canadian constitutional challenge, Allard et al v Her Majesty the Queen, which determined that prohibitions on the rights of qualified patients to cultivate cannabis in their homes were “not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

Mr. Armentano provides content to TheAnswerPage.com, an online medical educational resource that provides daily education to healthcare professionals in 120 countries. A version of this curriculum is now required in New York State for any physician who wishes to participate in that state’s medical cannabis program.

Mr. Armentano is the 2013 Freedom Law School Health Freedom Champion of the Year and the 2013 Alfred R. Lindesmith award recipient in the achievement in the field of scholarship.

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Paul Zukerberg

Instructor: Legal 101 Washington D.C.

Paul Zukerberg is an attorney with 30+ years experience in marijuana law and advocacy. He led the fight to successfully decriminalize marijuana in the District of Columbia in 2013, and was instrumental in assuring the passage is Initiative 71, legalizing personal use qualities of marijuana. He has strong ties in the District and Maryland medical cannabis industries.

Paul is a lifetime member of the NORML National Legal Committee, and has taught Federal procedure at the Catholic University of America. Paul has defended dozens of clients charged marijuana offenses, and has advised businesses and individuals in the legal cannabis industry. He is a member of the National Association Criminal Defense Attorneys and the American Association for Justice. He practices in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, in both state and federal courts.


Robert Calkin

Instructor: Delivery Business

Robert Calkin is the author of Starting your own Medical Marijuana Delivery Service: The Mobile Caregiver’s Handbook.

Robert is a Delivery Service consultant and podcaster on the subject having been in the cannabis industry for over 30 years.He was a chief organizer of attendees at one of the first Smoke-Ins on the Mall in Washington D.C. in 1976.

As one of the original members of the American Hemp Council in 1988 with Chris Conrad and Jack Herer, he has always been at the forefront of cannabis advocacy. In 1988, he created his delivery service in Los Angeles, Green Dot. He was asked to be a consultant on the TV show “Weeds”.


Robert Raich, Esq

Professor: Cannabusiness 102

Robert A. Raich practices law in Oakland, California, where he specializes in medical cannabis law, business law, political law, and lobbying. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Texas School of Law, he previously practiced law with Eber, Nakagawa & Kitajo in San Francisco and with the Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C. Mr. Raich has spoken across the United States and internationally on the regulation of medical cannabis.

He was the attorney in both of the U.S. Supreme Court cases ever to consider medical cannabis issues, United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, 532 U.S. 483 (2001), and Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005). Mr. Raich was a member of the California Attorney General’s Medical Marijuana Task Force (Chairman, Caregiver Issues Subcommittee), and he has taught classes on medical cannabis to cadets at the Oakland Police Department’s Police Academy. He has appeared before dozens of tribunals throughout the country, lobbying with respect to medical cannabis legislation and litigating medical cannabis cases.

Before practicing law, Mr. Raich served as a staff member in the United States Senate and the Texas House of Representatives, served in various positions in presidential and senatorial election campaigns, was a public opinion survey analyst, and worked as a television sound and camera technician and as a radio reporter. He was the publisher of an art journal, and served on a U.S. Department of Transportation Advisory Committee.

Law Offices of Robert Raich

(510) 338-0700



Sandy Moriarty

Instructor: Methods of Ingestion: Cooking

Everyone knows about pot brownies, but not many know how to make them… and brownies are so old-school. Aunt Sandy has perfected more than 30 cannabis-infused recipes using her family’s favorite appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The secret to success is a process that changes the grass taste to a delicious nutty-flavored butter that Aunt Sandy calls 10X Cannabutter. It can be used to make recipes as diverse as lemon bars and roast turkey. Aunt Sandy shows readers how to customize the strength of the recipes to adjust the potency to their own needs. This is the first cannabis cookbook to consider health and special dietary needs for patients with diabetes and low carb requirements, as well as vegans. Quick American Publishing recently released Aunt Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook, a recommended read and official course book for Oaksterdam University, available at www.quicktrading.com

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Sarah Schrader

Instructor: Politics and History

Sarah Shrader spent the last five years working as a community liaison in Northern California for Americans for Safe Access.This has given her the opportunity to work with dispensaries statewide, and talk to city council & board of supervisors about regulations.

Her previous experience includes opening and managing three medical cannabis doctors’ clinics and volunteering with San Francisco Chapter of ASA since its inception. Currently, Sarah is the at home mother of two young children.

She has been appointed by San Francisco Board of Supervisors to hold one of the 13 positions on the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Task Force to work on cannabis legislation; she represents ASA on the National Policy Organization seat.


Not pictured, but much appreciated:

Tessier Bull – Outdoor Agriculture and Land Sustainability Instructor
Yvonne Westbrook-White – Patient Extraordinaire and Guest Speaker