Down but not out. That phrase aptly describes Oaksterdam University, which has reopened less than three weeks after a raid by federal agents put its future in question and sent ripples through the entire medical cannabis industry.
The MMJ cultivation school opened its doors this week with a small staff of volunteers – and without cannabis plants on the premises – following up on its founder’s vow to keep on fighting.
The move shows other medical marijuana businesses that all is not necessarily lost when federal agents show up at your door with sledgehammers and power saws and seize plants and other assets. It also highlights the future of cannabis schools: Those that want to avoid federal attention won’t use actual marijuana to train students.
Whether Oaksterdam can remain open is another question entirely, as most of its funding has dried up. The cultivation school reportedly had to sever ties with its two dozen employees and cancel some classes that are part of its semester curriculum.
But school officials said this week that they have cemented a deal to license Oaksterdam’s curriculum to Wise Education Technologies, which will hold classes at a smaller building in the same area of the city.
Oaksterdam also will hold a weekend seminar this Saturday and Sunday in its auditorium.
“Oaksterdam University is trying to fulfill as many classes as possible, and will need to change our business model to continue operations,” the school says on its website.
Aside from the university, agents raided several other businesses tied to Oaksterdam founder Richard Lee. Yet the government has not leveled charges against Lee or any other Oaksterdam workers, and officials have not yet revealed why those sites were raided.