Oakland hip-hop legend A-Plus would have no problem finding these three fine ingredients in his hometown of Oakland, California, a city with four approved medical cannabis dispensaries. Just a quick train or ferry ride away is San Francisco with over thirty dispensaries to choose from. Most dispensaries are worth visiting, but Oaktown is home to two of the best. Perhaps the ‘Purple’ in A-Plus’s spliff is the Purple Kush, available only at Coffeeshop Blue Sky (formerly Coffeeshop SR-71). Purple Kush is an effective and delicious Indica and can be purchased in clone or dried herb by any California medical marijuana cardholder.
Coffeshop Blue Sky opened in 2003, four years after its big sister, the Bulldog Coffeeshop, which originally operated as a dispensary and was named in honor of the Dutch shop by the same name. Despite its small size, Coffeeshop Blue Sky, situated on a busy commercial block, has a modest but consistent and affordable selection. Harborside Health Center, another great Oakland dispensary, is tucked away in a spacious waterfront building. It boasts a range of free support services for its patients, and offers a wide array of products.
Along with the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative (OCBC), these two shops are in the heart of the area known as Oaksterdam. The OCBC, Oaksterdam’s first dispensary, opened in 1996 and provided medicine to patients until the Federal government forced it to stop selling cannabis. The OCBC Supreme Court case is still not settled, but the organization has always remained open as a hemp store and cannabis industry showroom. Last year, in what many activists see as a huge sign of major progress, the OCBC became the official provider of patient ID cards in Alameda County for the state of California.
Richard Lee – owner of the Bulldog Coffeeshop, Coffeeshop Blue Sky, Oaksterdam Bike Rental and the Oaksterdam Gift Shop – envisions a downtown Oakland revitalized by the support of his and other cannabis businesses. The newest landmark on the Oaksterdam map may be one of Richard Lee’s most groundbreaking yet. Oaksterdam University offers quality training for the rapidly emerging cannabis industry and emphasizes that long-term success will only come to those dedicated to ending cannabis prohibition. The curriculum includes Politics, Legal Issues, Horticulture, Cooking, Bud Tending, Retail Management, and Starting a Business. Special guest instructors include Dennis Peron, Ed Rosenthal, and representatives from Americans for Safe Access. The basic curriculum can be completed in one weekend, so students do not have to live in California to register.
Oaksterdam Tours offers a $1000 package for two that includes a two-night stay in a luxury Oakland hotel, O’Dam limo pick up from the Oakland Airport, a 420 themed Oaksterdam VIP tour, Oaksterdam gift bag, and a boating experience on Lake Merrit. The San Francisco Bay Guardian named the Oaksterdam Tour “Best Green Package Tour” in 2007, stating: “It used to be that visitors to the Bay made San Francisco their main destination, with maybe a quick visit to such select surrounding spots as Muir Woods, Napa Valley, Sausalito, or even Berkeley – but certainly not the dreaded and feared city of Oakland. Those pre-dank days are over, though, with the recent addition of such attractions as the Oaksterdam Tour, which are drawing a new breed of tourist – one with a taste for the sticky-icky – to that once ostracized city…. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, Oaktown!”
“Quality Training for the Cannabis Industry”
410 15th Street, Oakland CA 94612