Image of Oaksterdam University holding a cannabis seminar for those interested in the product. (WTOP/Dennis Foley)
Oaksterdam University brings to Washington, D.C. the city’s first certified career training program for candidates seeking to enter the legal cannabis industry.
WASHINGTON — There’s law, medicine and culinary arts being taught just blocks away from the White House.
But this isn’t your typical college seminar. It’s a crash course on all things cannabis.
The Sunday event, held at the Capital Hilton on 16th St. NW, was put on by Oaksterdam University, a Oakland, California-based school that claims to be the nation’s only recognized cannabis college.
“We’re here to educate people on how to operate safely and responsibly, but also in accordance to the law,” university provost Dr. Aseem Sappal told WTOP. “So we have all the same topics you would learn in your school, but what we offer is business management in relation to cannabis, economics in relation cannabises.”
About 200 people filled the second-floor meeting room to take part in sessions like Politics & History of Cannabis, Horticulture: Safely & Responsibly; and Methods of Ingestion: Cooking with Cannabis.
“I was told about this course by a woman I met who owns ‘Hollywood Smokin” in New Jersey,” Scott Rosenthal, an anesthesiologist from Pennsylvania, explained. “And she owns a headshop that sells paraphernalia for using marijuana. She told me about this course because she has patients come in to her store who need to get marijuana and she needs to refer them to doctors.”
Rosenthal made the trip to D.C. to learn what he can about the medical marijuana industry. A member of Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission was also there.
“Right now, we are focused on medical use,” commissioner Debbie Miran said. “Our governor and the state of Maryland really want to see this program up and running and successful.”

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