The Budtender’s Guide

A Comprehensive Resource on Cannabis Use, Products, and Effects

The Budtender’s Guide

Discover the Ultimate Resource for Budtenders and Cannabis Consumers: The Budtender’s Guide!

Are you struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving world of cannabis? Are you looking for a comprehensive guide that will help you navigate the complex landscape of cannabis varieties, products, and legalization policies? Look no further than The Budtender’s Guide!

Written by the world-renowned faculty of Oaksterdam University, America’s premier cannabis college, this book contains everything you need to know about cannabis use, its products, and its effects. With this guide, you will:

  • Learn how to stay up-to-date with the latest cannabis trends and developments.
  • Understand the chemistry of cannabis and how it affects the body.
  • Choose or recommend the right cultivars for your customers.
  • Connect with your customers to make great product recommendations.

Electronic Book

Get the ebook edition…


Get the paperback textbook edition…

Sign up for the OU Budtenders Guide email list and stay connected.
You’ll get all our book updates, announcements, and best of all, fantastic freebies!

Budtending certification

Budtender’s Guide Contributors

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Paul Armentano

Paul Armentano has nearly three decades of experience working professionally in cannabis policy. He is the Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the nation’s oldest and largest cannabis reform advocacy organization. He also spent over a decade serving on the faculty of Oaksterdam University as both an instructor and a faculty chair. He is the author of several books on cannabis policy, and his writing has also appeared in more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies. In 2019, he was awarded the Al Horn Memorial Award “in recognition of a lifetime of work to advance the cause of justice.”

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Angela Bacca, MBA

Angela Bacca has been covering the cannabis industry for over 15 years. She has authored hundreds of articles, edited and/or co-authored nearly a dozen books, and edited various online and print cannabis-centric publications. She has focused on cannabis economics, politics, science, horticulture, cultural issues, non-cannabis herbalism, and complementary and alternative health topics.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen worked with Oaksterdam University for nearly five years. She led the Facilitation Department, responsible for scheduling and coordinating Oaksterdam’s live academic programs, such as virtual semesters and webinars, and creating extracurricular events. As a dual US/UK citizen growing up in England, Elizabeth witnessed the suffering of cannabis patients living without safe, legal access to medicine due to the War on Drugs. She studied Social and Political Studies at Ruskin College, Oxford, and is passionate about the history of political theories and destigmatizing cannabis.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Mitchell Colbert

Mitchell Colbert has been a cannabis legalization advocate since he was busted for possession at 19 and saw firsthand the waste and racism inherent in the system. He was a regional director on 2010’s Proposition 19 legalization campaign and spent over five years working primarily as a budtender at Harvorside. Mitchell has written over 100 articles for over a dozen outlets, including High Times, Leafly, Cannabis Now, and Hemp Magazine. Since 2018, he has lobbied around the US to legalize the recycling of cannabis waste, specifically vape waste. Mitchell is also the Executive Director of the Ethical Data Alliance, a nonprofit using blockchain to better protect cannabis data and further cannabis research.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Natalie Darves, MBA

As a certified Master Gardener with nearly 20 years of experience in outdoor cannabis cultivation, Natalie continues to disseminate her knowledge and philosophy of sustainable, closed-loop, “beyond organic” horticultural models and best business practices as the Chair of the Business Department of Oaksterdam University. She is also the founder and managing partner of Cougar Acres Consulting, a seed-to-sale strategy and content firm. Natalie is also serving on the advisory body of the Cannabis Policy Oversight Team for the City of Portland.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Goose Duarte

Goose Duarte has been employed in the cannabis industry for nearly 20 years. He started his career in the early 2000s working for a doctor’s office specializing in medical cannabis recommendations. He went on to work with Steve DeAngelo to launch the world-famous Harborside dispensary in 2006, where he spent over a decade learning every aspect of cannabis retail operations, eventually becoming the general manager of Harborside’s flagship location in Oakland. Goose helped develop innovative and influential dispensary best practices that have since been adopted nationwide. Goose began teaching classes at Oaksterdam University in 2008 and joined the executive team as Campus Manager in 2018. Today, as Director of Operations, he oversees admissions, student services, and facilitation. When Goose is not involved in activism, he is an improviser with the long-running Secret Improv Society in San Francisco.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Maha Haq, MS

Maha is an independent consultant for retailers, consumption lounges, brands, and events who has worked in the cannabis space for over ten years and is an instructor for cannabis science classes at Oaksterdam University. She has professional experience in the entire supply chain. In 2018, Maha founded Cannaclub at UCLA, a collegiate organization focusing on cannabis education, advocacy, and opportunities for students. Under Maha’s leadership, Cannaclub expanded to 31 universities nationwide with over 6,000 members. Maha also served as a researcher at the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative. Maha has an MS in pharmacological sciences, concentrating on Medical Cannabis Sciences & Therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, the nation’s first graduate program studying cannabis.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Dale Sky Jones

Dale Sky Jones is the president, CEO, and chancellor of Oaksterdam University. Dale created the blueprint for cannabis reform as the spokeswoman and legislative liaison for the first statewide legalization effort, California’s Proposition 19 (2010). Since then, she has served as Chairwoman of the Board for the diverse Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, whose efforts led to the passage of California’s Proposition 64 in 2016. She is a founding board member of the Cannabis Media Council and the National Cannabis Industry Association, currently serving as the NCIA’s Education Committee chair.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Jessie Smith

Jessie joined the Oaksterdam staff in 2019 and is integral to the leadership and project management teams. She has an educational background in environmental toxicology and various certifications in farm design, regenerative land management practices, farmer education, and soil microbiology. Jessie has worked as the chief operating officer of a fully compliant licensed cannabis manufacturing start-up and led the company through rapid growth, investor acquisition, and the California regulatory changes of 2018. She has also worked with The Emerald Cup, California’s premier cannabis competition and festival, recruiting vendors and sponsors and managing them at the event. She continues to advise cannabis businesses and events throughout the country.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Lauren Vázquez, Esq.

Lauren Vázquez is the Fired Up Lawyer. She is a cannabis business attorney and social entrepreneur who has worked for two decades to end Prohibition and advance alternatives to the failed War on Drugs. Lauren has practiced cannabis business law since 2009 and entered private practice in 2011. She has advised numerous cannabis companies and organizations. Lauren is a professor at Oaksterdam University, and in 2016 she was a Senior Advisor and the Statewide Outreach Manager for the successful Prop 64 Campaign that legalized cannabis in California.

Head shot of Paul Armentano

Wensdy Von Buskirk

Wensdy Von Buskirk is a lifelong journalist and editor who has covered a wide variety of topics for TV, radio, print, and digital media. She writes about the cannabis industry in Michigan for MiCIA Magazine and covers the industry nationally as a communication specialist for Oaksterdam University. She has also written a memoir about her life with the plant.

Oaksterdam University may receive a share from purchases made via links on this webpage.