Federal officials raided Oakland’s Oaksterdam University Monday morning at approximately 8 a.m.
Oaksterdam is a staple in the medical marijuana community and has played a large role in acceptance and growth of the medical marijuana community in California throughout the past 5 years since it opened in 2007.
Officers wearing DEA, IRS, and US Marshal uniforms surrounded the building with yellow crime scene tape and entered the medical marijuana facility. At about 9 a.m. agents brought out trash bags of unknown materials from the building.
A reason for the raid has not been released. Officials elected not to comment, only stating that the raid was part of an “ongoing investigation.”
Oaksterdam Museum was also blocked off, as well as the Oaksterdam gift shop and the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative. A total of four different areas were cordoned off by the federal officials.
UPDATE 2:00 PST: Aside from the aforementioned raids, officials have also raided the home of Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam, as well as the home of a friend of Lee’s.
In addition to the raid of his home, Lee was also brought in for questioning. He was later released.
Of the raids, Oaksterdam Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones stated to the press, “This is a calculated attack across the state on everyone who is trying to bring the cannabis industry out of the darkness and into the light. They’re going after industry leaders one at a time.”
A growing crowd gathered around the raids, vocalizing their disappointment in the continued federal involvement in shutting down the California medical marijuana system– a system which was approved by the voters of California. Over 100 people came together to show their support for Oaksterdam and medical marijuana.
These raids came only weeks after the city of Oakland showed its continuing support for medical marijuana in the city by approving the addition of 4 new collectives in the city, which would have doubled the previous number of locations. Oakland city officials have worked to create a well-regulated system of collectives that provide safe opportunities for patients to access their medicine.