OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 30, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — In another cannabis industry ‘first,’ Oaksterdam University (OU) set the bar for what could be called the most elaborate cannabis event to ever be held, by celebrating its 10th Anniversary with an Emmy-like awards ceremony and dinner. On Saturday, November 18, 2017, nearly 500 people–including such pioneers as Valerie Corral, Ed Rosenthal, Richard Lee and Jeff Jones to name just a few–helped OU recognize its newest graduates and honor those in the Oaksterdam community–activists, entrepreneurs, students, faculty and citizens–who have fought for cannabis rights and freedoms for over 20 years.
“While there is much still to do,” said OU Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones, “we wanted to recognize, honor and thank people who have made a difference in transforming the movement into an industry. This evening was about celebrating the gladiators for how much has been accomplished as well as remembering what has been lost in the cannabis policy reform battle.”
Held at the Scottish Rite Center on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA, the evening began with a graduation ceremony for Oaksterdam alumni from April 2012 to the present. Commencement speaker Oakland City Councilmember-At-Large Rebecca Kaplan spoke eloquently of her experiences through the years, including experiencing the federal raid on Oaksterdam in 2012 while the worst mass shooting in Oakland history occurred simultaneously a few miles away at Oikos University.
Keynote speaker Richard Lee, Oaksterdam University’s retired founder, was honored with Living Legend Recognition and received a standing ovation. Alameda County Board of Supervisors presented the college with a formal Commendation as a dynamic, diverse and responsive academic institution dedicated to equity and educating the global cannabis community as the world’s only hands-on training facility.
“Alameda County rarely gives commendations and the fact that they planned to surprise us made it all the more special,” said Dr. Aseem Sappal, OU’s Provost and Dean of Faculty. “What a great honor to be recognized for our achievements over the past 20+ years on an evening when we were honoring so many others.”
Award winners included Lynette Shaw (Cannabis Pioneer Award), Valerie Corral for WAMM and Ann Lee For RAMP (Advocacy Awards), Tommy Chong (Luminary Award), Dr. Sue Sisley (Chancellor’s High Achievement Award), Richard Lee(Living Legend Recognition) and many more. Green Heart Medals were awarded to a host of people for suffering great loss or ‘shedding blood’ while placing themselves at great risk for cannabis freedom and rights. A Certificate of Appreciation was given to major sponsor Acres Cannabis from NV and to Big Rock, who funded $25,000 in scholarships this year.
OU is also publishing a Legacy Book to commemorate its history and to recognize those who have fought for cannabis rights, which is available for pre-order. Page dedications and advertising opportunities are only available through December 14, 2017. See full list of award winners, event photos and Legacy Book opportunities.
About Oaksterdam University:
Since 2007, when Oaksterdam University became the first cannabis college in the United States, it has been the forerunner in providing the highest quality training to people interested in a career in the cannabis industry and the first institution to address the growing needs of the marijuana movement, from patients to regulators. Such a focus has established Oaksterdam University as the only cannabis college with a comprehensive curriculum in cannabis business and horticulture available today. Our faculty is comprised of professionals, academics and entrepreneurs, and OU alumni—over 30,000 from over 30 countries who have received training regarding cannabis and marijuana policy reform—are the most active in the world.
For more information contact:
Dr. Aseem Sappal, Provost and Dean of Faculty