OAKLAND (KRON) — With California voters getting ready to decide whether or not to allow adults to use marijuana recreationally, would-be entrepreneurs are looking to possibly cash in on what some consider to be the state’s next gold rush.
KRON4 spent the day at Oaksterdam University in Oakland where students are pursuing a different kind of higher education.
The university is America’s first college dedicated solely to cannabis. Over a 14-week semester in the hands-on lab, students are learning about pot from roots to buds–and the business side of this growing industry.
Like other colleges, there is homework, grades, and tests.
Once they pass their course and pass their final exam, the students will walk away with one of two certificates. A basic certification means they can grow their own cannabis, cook with it, and extract it.
An advanced degree means they can go into business.
In Thursday’s class, those from California say the upcoming vote on whether or not to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use was partly the motivation for taking this course.
“Cannabis is going to be a big part of California’s agricultural business, and I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to…finding a career,” student Enrico Filippelli said.
Others said the career path won’t change if Prop 64 fails at the ballot.
“My interest is in learning to grow in the horticulture end of it, taking something to an artisan level,” student Jessica Grotenstein said.
The executive chancellor said they are also noticing a change in their student body.
“As we move towards the timeline of the future, more folks that are really looking on how to safely invest their money or become an entrepreneur,” Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones said.
This same university was raided by the feds in 2012. Next week, agents from a state regulator’s office will be the students.
They will learn how the medical marijuana industry operates, so they can better control it.