The city council for Coalinga, California recently passed two marijuana measures, the latter of which is rife with irony. First, they voted 4-1 in April to allow marijuana cultivation within city limits. Second, they just voted to sell an abandoned prison formerly known as the Claremont Custody Center, to Ocean Grow Extracts, a company that produces medical grade marijuana oils.
The prison which once held over 500 inmates, was sold to the company for $4.1 million, which totally wiped clean the city’s $4 million debt. The prison will soon be renovated and used by Ocean Grow Extracts to cultivate marijuana, and turn it into their cannabis oil products. The facility is expected to create 100 jobs for the community, and possibly more if the business takes off.
For a town whose economy used to revolve around incarceration and crude oil, two industries that have been dwindling in recent years, the sale of this former prison is a godsend. It’s believed that the 77,000 square foot facility could eventually end up generating $2 million in tax revenue for the city. As Mayor Patrick Keough put it, “one company could take us out of the red in three years.”
The irony of this situation, which is not lost on marijuana advocates, is that this prison probably incarcerated countless harmless pot offenders over the years. But as the drug war comes to a close, the facilities of the prison-industrial complex are now being used to grow marijuana.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.