Oaksterdam University’s Dale Sky Jones at the ICBC in San Francisco


After successful marijuana legalization campaigns in 2012 & 2014, the cannabis law reform movement is already engrossed in planning for legalization measures likely to be placed on the 2016 ballot. California, the biggest prize of all, is certainly at the forefront of cannabis law reform advocates’ plans. California actually helped kick off the movement’s recent victories by placing Prop 19 on the ballot in 2010. While Prop 19 didn’t win at the ballot box, the campaign helped bring marijuana law reform more mainstream and taught advocates a lot about how to draft a legalization measure and run a legalization campaign.

Prop 19, was the brainchild of Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee and if California is to legalize cannabis in 2016, Oaksterdam University will likely be instrumental once again, now under the leadership of Dale Sky Jones, the cannabis school’s executive chancellor. In fact, Ms. Jones has taken a leadership role in the effort to legalize marijuana for all California adults as executive director for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform. I recently had the opportunity to meet with Dale at a California activist conference sponsored by CCPR and Reform California, an event bringing together activists from all across the state as Californians begin to take on the monumental task of running a legalization measure in one of the top-ten economies in the world.

Oaksterdam, founded in 2007, is the nation’s first cannabis college; classes focus on cannabis cultivation, history, and the medical applications of the cannabis plant. The university prides itself on preparing students with the knowledge they require to thrive in the the medical cannabis field as well as the emergent social-use cannabis industry. Executive Chancellor Jones is a founding board member for both the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) and Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM) and is often seen on the many lists naming the top cannabis advocates in the country.  Jones valuably brings with her a wealth of experience from the corporate world as she has worked for companies in the retail and service industry, such as Brown Shoe, Radisson and T.G.I. Friday’s.

Dale Sky Jones will be presenting on the advocacy panel on February 15th at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco. Jones will be joined by a panel to discuss the emerging legal cannabis industry and the role that advocacy for full, nationwide legalization of cannabis plays in a business environment. There is no better time to immerse yourself in the emerging cannabis industry than right now and there aren’t many better people to learn from than Dale Sky Jones. And with the recent victories in Oregon and Alaska, it certainly makes sense to hold the 2nd ICBC in California after the initial conference was held last year in Portland, Oregon.

The ICBC will be held at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, California onFebruary 15th and 16th, 2015. The speakers list for the ICBC in SF is stacked with activists, entrepreneurs, and other major advocates and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry – including Oaksterdam University Chancellor Dale Sky Jones. The first ICBC brought together advocates and entrepreneurs to Oregon and the Beaver State went on to legalize cannabis with over 56% of the vote in 2014. Let’s hope that bringing together activists and entrepreneurs early and often in California will result in a similar success story for the Golden State in 2016.   

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.