Damian Marley To Turn Prison Into Cannabis Farm

Bob Marley's youngest son, Damian Marley, has plans to turn an old, unoccupied California prison into a marijuana manufacturing location.  His goal is to turn the deteriorating prison into a profitable piece of land.  

The reggae artist turned ganjaprenuer told The Guardian, “It’s a statement to grow herb in a place that used to contain prisoners locked up for herb.”  Marley’s project has emerged as a potent symbol of shifting views on pot and incarceration in American society.  The prison, located in Coalinga, California, has been inoperable since 2011.  The location and design of the prison gives it potential to grow some beneficial medicine for the cannabis industry.

Co-owner of Ocean Grown Extracts, Casey Dalton, toured the prison with The Guardian, explaining the old dining room is intended to be used for cannabis oil refinement.  The large dorm halls will be converted to plant cultivation centers.  Other rooms will be used for transportation, distribution, and testing operations.  According to Dalton, the 77,000-square-foot facility will be a different kind of cannabis rehabilitation center.

Marley's vision for the prison is to alter the stereotype by turning, “a negative place with a negative vibe into something positive.”  He explained, “jails aren’t really rehabilitating people. They’re developing young criminals into more experienced criminals.”

Currently, there are nearly 30 marijuana business licenses in the town of Coalinga.  Marijuana has become the solution to the town's debt and bankruptcy.  Dan Dalton, Marley’s manager and Casey Dalton’s brother, is hoping the public will view the project as a  protest of the criminal justice system, stating, “This is symbolic and a big middle finger to the drug war and to a broken system that hasn’t worked for a long time now."