Welcome to the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum website.
The Oaksterdam Museum was a tourist attraction and community center for the cannabis community, in the heart of Oakland California, from 2011 to 2020. It was sponsored by Oaksterdam University, survived the infamous federal “Oaksterdam Raids” of 2012 and finally closed its doors due to the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020. The university remains open as an online institution.
During most of that time, it was the only US cannabis museum to have permanent and special exhibitions, regular hours open to the public and a living medical marijuana garden on display. The six-plant cannabis garden was a primary target of the federal raid and was eradicated by federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), federal marshals and IRS tax agents. Local law enforcement were kept out of the operation. Several cabinets were broken into by federal agents and some items were damaged during the search.
Other than the cannabis garden, sponsored by Oaksterdam University, the museum exhibition primarily consisted of artifacts and educational materials prepared by or from the collection of cannabis author, historian and expert witness Chris Conrad. Conrad was also the designing curator of the Amsterdam Hash, Marihuana and Hemp Museum from 1993 into early 2000s.
The Oaksterdam Raid of 2012
The museum space was originally part of the OU campus and its facilities were sponsored by Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University and sponsor of California’s Prop 19 initiative to legalize marijuana that lost by fewer than four percent. Lee also operated the Oakland city-licensed cannabis dispensary Blue Sky Coffeeshop. Along with his other business locations, the Museum was raided by federal officials on April 2, 2012, its garden destroyed, and several exhibits damaged.
Oaksterdam University and its Museum, two premier, nationally renowned education institutions, harassed but undaunted by Federal discouragement and interference, continued on with unified educational programs.
After the raids, the collection was downsized and moved into the active OU campus. Viewing the garden was available only to students or by special arrangement.
The museum was originally located at 1776 Broadway at 19th Street (formerly an OU campus and home of the Prop 19 effort). After the DEA raid, it moved to the new OU campus at 1600 Broadway (also the site of the famous Oaksterdam Mural that was destroyed by vandals in 2012, unrelated to the raid). Both institutions moved to 1734 Telegraph Avenue a few years later, where they continued to operate until the summer of 2020. Oaksterdam University continues to hold its curriculum online.
Conrad is still looking for a commercial property owner and investment funders who wish to provide a permanent location for this collection, including poster displays and artifacts, the Richard Davis Collection and assorted other private collections of significant documents and artifacts. Display posters and some other items are available for loan or reproduction for other collectors.
The email address below is for museum inquiries ONLY, NOT for general Oaksterdam University or coffeeshop information. Please email [email protected] to get involved and help us thrive!
The Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum needs a new location as well as sponsors, volunteers, contributors and donors to keep its collection current and reopen its doors. We will not be advancing these goals during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown until such time as it is deemed safe to do so.
Email [email protected] to learn more about how You can get involved!