Damian Marley’s pot farm in a former prison might get him sent to, well, prison. But in California, it’s totally irie, man. The youngest son of the reggae icon, Bob Marley, says he’s partnering with Ocean Grown Extracts to turn the former Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga into a grow operation that will supply medical marijuana to state dispensaries.
The facility will also bring 100 jobs and an estimated $1 million in yearly tax revenues to the struggling city. “Many people sacrificed so much for the herb over the years who got locked up,” Marley a.k.a Junior Gong, 38, tells Billboard. “If this [venture] helps people and it’s used for medicinal purposes and inspires people, it’s a success.”
Purchased for $4.1 million, the 77,000-square-foot space isn’t the only one Marley has set aside for marijuana crops. He’s also opened a 3,000-square-foot dispensary and 30,000-square-foot grow space in Denver in partnership with Colorado-based TruCannabis. “We’ve watched people who have sacrificed their lives for [marijuana],” says Marley’s manager. “That injustice has motivated us to be advocates as well as knowing that there are healing properties in cannabis.” Oil extracts will be produced in Coalinga within 60 days, while the first crop will be ready for harvest in January—shortly after several states including California vote on whether to legalize recreational marijuana use.