Chair | Faculty | Horticulture
Joey Ereñeta


Joey Ereñeta has been a cannabis cultivator and activist for nearly 30 years. He is a strong proponent of sustainable and regenerative cannabis cultivation, and has committed his life to building a more equitable cannabis industry, demystifying the stigma around this important plant medicine, and to educating and supporting those who benefit from its myriad therapeutic and healing effects. As Horticulture Department Chair and Lead Instructor, Joey has helped teach Oaksterdam’s more than 80,000 alumni in the areas of cannabis cultivation, science, history, licensing, design, and how to responsibly operate a compliant cannabis business. He also runs Let It Grow Consulting, a cannabis consulting company, and has successfully licensed, designed, launched, and optimized dozens of indoor, greenhouse, and outdoor cultivation operations nationwide.

Joey began his work with medical cannabis in 1994 while attending U.C Berkeley. He collaborated with the Cannabis Action Network, cultivating free medical cannabis for seriously ill patients in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also began advocacy work with the city councils in Berkeley and Oakland to push for decriminalization, while supporting state legalization efforts, leading up to the passage of the first medical cannabis bill in the nation, California’s Proposition 215.

In 2006, Joey helped build the Oaksterdam Nursery, a cannabis nursery licensed by the City of Oakland. He managed the daily production of thousands of cannabis clones for sale to California patients and dispensaries. During this time, he also worked in the Oakland-licensed medical cannabis dispensary, SR-71/Coffeeshop Blue Sky. In 2007, he helped Richard Lee develop and teach the first horticulture classes at Oaksterdam University and has been teaching and developing curricula at OU ever since.

In 2017, Joey joined the Hood Incubator, an accelerator program that mentors Black, brown and LGBT folks from Oakland, CA’s under-represented neighborhoods trying to enter the cannabis industry. In 2018, Joey secured Demeter Biodynamic certification for a licensed cannabis farm in Sonoma County. Demeter is the oldest and most prestigious, international, sustainable farming certification on the planet. Most recently, Joey helped Ed Rosenthal write, update, and edit his newest Cannabis Grower’s Handbook. He also serves as an expert witness in cannabis legal cases around the country.

Joey has been featured in National Geographic, CNBC, NPR, the Atlantic, Washington Post, High Times, Press Democrat, SF Bay Guardian, and Leafly.

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