Ironic Reuse: Vacant California prison might be repurposed as marijuana factory

The city of Coalinga, California was founded on the discovery of a petroleum field is looking to strike it rich in a new oil industry.

Instead of relying on the black gold pulled from the ground for jobs and economic stability, Coalinga could find future wealth in marijuana by transforming its vacant state prison into a cannabis oil cultivation and manufacturing operation.


Claremont Custody Center

In April of 2016, Coalinga Mayor Ron Ramsey and City Manager Marissa Trejo fielded a proposal from Southern California-based Ocean Grown Extracts to turn the 77,000-square-foot Claremont Custody Center into a marijuana growing operation.

A Southern California company has proposed turning Coalinga’s city-owned, shuttered prison from a major unproductive expense into a marijuana growing operation.

The City Council supports the plan, which has numerous economic benefits, but faces a tough battle to convince Coalinga’s 13,000 citizens to become the first community to accept medical marijuana in the conservative central San Joaquin Valley.

The lease and tax payments from renting the old prison to Ocean Grown Extracts would add nearly $2 million to the city’s bank account each year.

The company also would provide 100 full-time jobs with benefits – a number that would double if California legalizes recreational marijuana use in November.

Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Keough says: “People are hurting – the oil industry is losing jobs,” he said. “We’re talking about 100 full-time jobs, and no dope in the streets.

See full article & nes video.

See Ocean Grown website & photo credit.

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