Half of the year is over – where does the time go? I hope that in the past six months you have all made progress in the industry and continue to advocate for patient rights, cannabis rights and greater access to opportunities with less restrictive legislation.

I just returned from speaking at the Cann10 International Medical Cannabis Conference, that was held on June 4-6, 2017, in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was here that I had the distinct honor of meeting the godfather of cannabis research. The man that first discovered THC, CBD and the endocannabinoid system, Professor Raphael Mechoulam. And in honor of his accomplishments in the field of cannabinoid based research & development, on behalf of the Oaksterdam community, I presented him with his honorary Oaksterdam University Faculty Letterman Jacket – pictured here.

Israel has made great strides in cannabis R&D. They’ve conducted numerous trials and continue to do so. I met with many of the country’s leading scientists and researchers. They most certainly have spent a lot of time in research and are conducting new tests and collecting more and more patient data. The rest of the world can certainly learn from their work in medicine and science. Israel is however, very new to developing a new working industry within its borders. They are currently looking toward exportation and product development based upon their trials thus far.

Speaking with many citizens and patients, the community is looking forward to a local industry and not one that focuses on exportation alone. They’ve accomplished much but there is much more to accomplish. They once allowed for home cultivation. This is now banned. They have over 30,000 patients in the nation but the steps it takes to become a patient is very difficult to say the least. There’s a lot of need to advocate in Israel and the Cann 10 conference was a great forum to bring the local and international community together to do just that.

As you watch the industry develop, I’m certain you’ve come across the two dozen new publications and conferences out there. It’s hard to keep track these days or know which ones are the best or most reputable to attend. Rest assured OU typically advertises only the most long standing reputable events on our website. For example, the NCIA summit conference begins tomorrow morning, right here in our backyard – downtown Oakland aka Oaksterdam. Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox is the key note. Come visit the Oaksterdam booth# 409.

For those of you in or around the Atlanta area, take a look at and support a new Cannabis Health and Awareness conference put together by one of your classmates and Oaksterdam alum. You can learn more here. https://www.iwigrp.com/chaa/

There’s a lot more ahead. 2016 was a historic year and I’m certain every year will be for someone, somewhere, in some country. Remember drug policy reform is not just happening within our borders and your work may very well take you to another nation. Mexico and Colombia plan large conferences this August and November respectively.

If you’re looking to get more involved with OU, please be in touch. We are expanding our horticulture department, online presence and new educational programs in Spanish. Nothing is easily accomplished alone my friends. Be well, be first and be leaders!

Dr. Aseem Sappal
Provost & Dean