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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oaksterdam Marijuana and Hemp Museum Moving, Seeking Sponsors

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM


For those corporations or philanthropists who always wanted to attach their names to the country's self-described most expansive and storied collection of marijuana-related artifacts, the time is now.

Better yet: If you're a property owner with available commercial space in downtown Oakland, the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum wants to talk with you -- and sign a long-term lease.

The museum, which features hemp-made products of yore and 19th-century medicine bottles from when marijuana was medicine before it was contraband, must leave its current Broadway home -- in the Blue Sky dispensary -- by the end of the month, school officials announced Monday.

A likely new home is right around the corner, but in the wake of financial difficulties ongoing since feds raided Oaksterdam University and its founder, Richard Lee, on April 2, the museum needs sponsors.

Paging David Bronner.

The museum is about a year old, and is billed as "the only US museum to cannabis that has had regular hours open to the public and a living medical marijuana garden." All appeared going well until the raid, which forced Lee out of the business, temporarily halted the school's classes, and generally set the school's affairs in disarray.

Lee has not been charged with any crimes, but the raids -- by IRS agents -- turned the trick of relieving the marijuana legalization movement of its most visible figurehead.

Classes have since resumed, and the museum won't go far from its 1776 Broadway location: The museum's collection will be moved to the Oaksterdam University second-floor auditorium, university chancellor Dale Sky Jones said on Tuesday. This means more public accessibility to the collection, which to date shares space with the Blue Sky medical marijuana dispensary, one of Oakland's four permitted dispensaries.

That said, there's nothing quite like ground-floor retail with window space. Even better if such prime location comes with a like-minded landlord. "If you are a visionary business person with the courage of your convictions and a belief in our system, please join us," museum officials write on the Website.

Until a long-term home is found, the museum will be open to the public once a month, and will also host fundraisers and art exhibits, Jones said.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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