Self-Described ‘Cannabis College’ Sprouts Offshoots as More States Legalize Marijuana

Oaksterdam University is not an accredited institution, but you might have been fooled if you went to the Capital Hilton here this past weekend.

More than 100 students took part in a 10-session seminar, part of the cannabis college’s focus on education in regions with recently loosened marijuana laws. During one session on Sunday, an instructor flipped through PowerPoint slides about cannabis-extraction methods and wove organic chemistry into one presentation. Meanwhile, attendees — clad in Oaksterdam sweatshirts, tie-dyed T-shirts advertising the marijuana newspaper High Times, and marijuana-leaf tie-clips — dutifully took notes.

Hanging in the ballroom were posters with the slogan "Cannabis freedom is closer than you think" and Oaksterdam’s marijuana-leaf-shaped crest, which looks something like Harvard University’s, except with "cannabis" replacing "veritas."

The university, which markets itself as a mix of a trade school and an advocacy group, opened in 2007, and it is booming. Students paid as much as $800 each...

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