The Coalinga City Council voted 4-1 Wednesday to turn the abandoned San Joaquin Valley Prison into a marijuana cultivation and cannabis oil production facility.
Coalinga is located in California’s Central Valley and once thrived on the jobs and income brought by the now-vacant prison. Since its closure, the city has entered into $3.2 million of debt—a figure it hopes to eliminate with the revenue brought by the new cannabis cultivation facility.
“We need some kind of revenue, we’re hurting right now,” said Coalinga Mayor Ron Ramsey. “I don’t want to wait until November and all these other cities jump into it, too. There’s a lot of cities hurting right now.”
The facility will be owned and run by California-based company Ocean Grown Extracts, who plan to utilize the 77,000-square-foot prison for both cultivation and the manufacturing of cannabis oil and extracts. Ocean Grown Extracts’ proposal said the company would also bring at least 55 jobs to the small community.
However, not everyone in the town is on board with the plan.
“I think they are looking at this as a quick fix,” said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, “and the problem with that is they won’t be able to stop because they will be so addicted to this revenue.”
We need to put her in touch with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Regardless of naysayers, the tribe has spoken, and this useless, vacant prison is about to become a bustling production facility, growing and manufacturing medicine for sick people who need it while creating jobs and revenue for a struggling city in the process. Sounds like a win-win to me.