COALINGA, California – The Central California city of Coalinga has sold its empty prison to a marijuana company that will grow and process cannabis there.
The abandoned Claremont Custody Center was sold to Ocean Grown Extracts for $4.1 million by the city, which had been struggling under almost $3.8 million in debt. The sale puts the city’s budget back into the black and was approved by the city council in a 4-1 vote.
Residents who once resisted marijuana operations in their area have come around, thanks to some education about the nature of marijuana businesses, the adoption by California legislators of a statewide regulatory system, and the promise of up to 100 new jobs for the area.
Referring to the prison-turned-pot-farm, Coalinga Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Keough told The Fresno Bee, “It’s like what the Grateful Dead said: ‘What a long, strange trip it’s been.’”