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Oaksterdam founder Richard Lee is fully separating himself from the school and his other cannabis-affiliated businesses

By Jack Rikess

Toke of the Town

Northern California Correspondent

Two weeks and a few days after the Federal Government raided Richard Lee’s world in Oakland, showing the Cannabis World who’s boss, Oaksterdam is back.
At a mid-morning press conference held in the last remaining quarters left to the University, Richard Lee officially stepped down as the school’s dean to pursue drug policy reform, on a national level, full-time. Dale Sky Jones, Oaksterdam’s executive chancellor, will continue the University’s commitment of quality training for the cannabis industry, as per Richard’s mission statement.  

Oaksterdam University

Wednesday Press Conference: Richard Lee, Elected Officials, Union, to Announce Future Plans for Oaksterdam University and National Day of Action
Taxpayer Resources Are Wasted Trampling CA Medical Marijuana Laws While City Officials Beg for Help with Gun Violence
National Day of Action on 4/20 Will Pressure Obama on Heels of Historic Discussion About Failed Drug War at Summit of the Americas
Oaksterdam University, which calls itself “the premier cannabis college in the United States,” will announce plans for the future of the school on Wednesday at a press conference.
At the event, founder Richard Lee will discuss his personal plans, as well as the fate of Oaksterdam University, arguably the leading educational institution in the nascent cannabis industry. Other speakers will raise awareness about the waste of valuable community resources.

Graphic: WeedMaps

​Buying bud on a budget? WeedMaps has a deal for you.

WeedMaps, known for directing medical marijuana users to nearby dispensaries in states which allow it, has borrowed an idea from Groupon, the popular coupon-swapping website, and is now offering daily coupons and discounts on medicinal cannabis, reports Jeremy A. Kaplan at Fox News.
While the service has been called “Groupon for ganja,” site founder Justin Hartfield was quick to point out the differences between the two.
“It’s only like Groupon in the sense that there’s a new deal every day,” he told “We’re not accepting money from end users.” Groupon customers buy merchandise online, he explained, meaning subscribers rely on the daily coupon website itself to handle the transactions.

Photo: Gearfuse
Don’t start counting the money just yet, Brokeland.

​Don’t start counting the money just yet — Brokeland, I mean Oakland, may not get that pot tax bonanza, after all.

Fiscally-challenged Oakland, California could lose millions of dollars in potential tax revenue if the city bows to pressure to scale back or cancel controversial plans to license four large-scale commercial medical marijuana farms.

Supporters say the measure approved by the city council last July could provide the city with a tax windfall of $10 million or more each year by authorizing four city-licensed cannabis cultivation facilities, reports Michael Montgomery at California Watch.

Photo: Boots & Sabers
When told they could go to jail for Oakland’s new ordinance allowing large-scale marijuana farming, city council members voted to suspend and revise it.

​The Oakland City Council voted 7-1 in closed session on Tuesday to suspend its program to permit and tax four industrial-sized medical marijuana farms and increase the number of dispensaries, at least until the new cultivation plan can be amended to address objections voiced by law enforcement.

The decision came after Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley warned earlier this month that the large-scale commercial growing operations envisioned by city officials could be illegal under state law. O’Malley also said members of the City Council could be prosecuted by her office if they approved the plan, reports Cecily Burt at the Oakland Tribune.
The City Council had voted in July to license and regulate large cultivation operations which would grow and produce medical marijuana. The council also recently voted to double the number of cannabis dispensaries from four to eight.

Photo: Fleet Alert
Advocates worry that Colorado’s proposed “driving while stoned” limit will unfairly affect medical marijuana patients

​Colorado could soon establish tough new measures to crack down on those who smoke marijuana and drive — and advocates are worried that the proposed limits will unfairly affect medical marijuana patients.

Under a proposal expected to be introduced early next year, the state would create a threshold for the amount of THC — the main psychoactive component in marijuana — that drivers are allowed to have in their blood, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post. Anyone who is stopped and tests above that limit would be considered to be driving while high.
Drivers suspected of being under the influence of marijuana or other drugs already have to submit to a blood test or face license suspension. But the proposed law would set a limit beyond which drivers would be presumed to be impaired by marijuana.


​Two members of the Oakland City Council are planning to propose legislation, possibly this month, that would allow and regulate the commercial cultivation of medical marijuana.

Council members Larry Reid and Rebecca Kaplan said they hope the rules will limit the public hazards sometimes associated with large-scale illegal marijuana growing operations, reports Kelly Rayburn of The Oakland Tribune.
Under their plan, Oakland, California would allow a small number of commercial marijuana cultivators, regulate them carefully, collect taxes on the revenue, and, Reid and Kaplan hope, keep neighborhoods safer.

Graphic: Budhoe

​Organized labor and California’s burgeoning marijuana industry are coming together for what is believed to be the very first time, after 100 employees at Oaksterdam University turned in their union cards and joined the 26,000-member Local 5 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, school and union officials confirmed Wednesday, reports Chris Roberts at the SF Appeal.

Oaksterdam, which includes a cannabis dispensary and plant nursery, as well as cultivation classes, is also the force behind California’s legalization initiative, Tax Cannabis 2010, through the deep pockets of founder and owner Richard Lee, who has given nearly $1.3 million to the ballot measure.


Graphic: KVAL

​he Oakland City Council endorsed California’s marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot Tuesday, becoming the first city in the state to back it.

Last year, 80 percent of Oakland voters approved becoming the first city in the United States to tax medical marijuana dispensaries, gaining $500,000 for city coffers, reports Joe Garofoli at SF Gate. And in 2004, city voters approved Measure Z, making marijuana possession arrests the lowest law enforcement priority for the Oakland Police Department.
“Our experience shows that controlling and taxing cannabis dispensaries can benefit everyone in the community,” said Oakland City Council member at-large Rebecca Kaplan.

Photo: The Fresh Scent

​Could it be all that medical marijuana tax money starting to flow into city coffers?

Oakland City Attorney John Russo last week endorsed the California ballot initiative to legalize marijuana, and the City Council seems ready to join him, reports Kelly Rayburn at The Oakland Tribune.
Russo called the legalization initiative, Tax Cannabis 2010, an overdue change in California’s marijuana policy.
“What we’ve been trying to do is fight a raging fire with a watering can,” Russo said. “The better way is to cut off the oxygen.”
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