Damian Marley, youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley, has announced plans to convert a shuttered California prison into a medical marijuana cultivation center.
The prison, the 77,000-square-foot Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga, California, was purchased for $4.1 million, and the project is projected to create 100 jobs for the economically struggling town, Billboard reports.
According to Marley, his venture is more than entrepreneurial. He hopes that his project will make a statement larger than himself.
“Many people sacrificed so much for the herb over the years who got locked up,” Marley told Billboard. “If this [venture] helps people and it’s used for medicinal purposes and inspires people, it’s a success.”
Marley is partnering with Ocean Grown Extracts on the prison cultivation center project and also has a partnership with Colorado-based TruCannabis in the works, with plans to build a 3,000-square-foot dispensary in downtown Denver. The timing of Marley’s California venture makes him poised to capitalize on the "green rush" that is expected if California's Proposition 64 passes in November, effectively legalizing cannabis for adult recreational use.
“Jails aren’t really rehabilitating people. They’re developing young criminals into more experienced criminals,” Marley told The Guardian. He told the paper his venture would turn, “a negative place with a negative vibe into something positive."