Damian Marley is turning a former prison into a marijuana farm

Damian Marley is transforming a prison into a marijuana plantation to give more than one hundred ex-prisoners a job.

Damian Marley, the youngest son of raggae superstar Bob Marley, announced that he’s running a very ambitious project. Partnered with Ocean grown extracts, Marley wants to set up a marijuana farm on land that was once the Claremont custody center, California State prison. The farm will cover an area of more than 7,000 square metres and produce cannabis for therapeutic use.

joshua tree california marijuana plantation
One of the areas where the marijuana farm will be created in California © DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

Proposition 64 and marijuana legalisation in California

According to estimates by the American media that reported this piece of news, the operation could yield a return of millions of dollars, also given that Californian citizens are called to vote on the so-called Proposition 64 on 8 November, the law that allows adults to possess, purchase and cultivate cannabis, also for recreational use.

Damian Marley’s dream: giving ex-prisoners a job

But Damian’s project has obviously other major purposes. By purchasing the former prison for more than four million dollars, Marley and his partner have solved most of the community of Coalinga’s financial problems, paying off the public debt of more than three million dollars.

Secondly, his business will create more than one hundred jobs in an economically stagnant region, which is bearing the consequences of the oil price drop and is having several droughts that strongly damaged the traditional farming industry.

legal marijuana plantation
A legal marijuana plantation near Annapolis, California © George Rose/Getty Images

Damian’s dream is to offer ex-prisoners new jobs to bring them a new future and the opportunity to find their place in society. Damian said about his project:

Many people sacrificed so much for the herb over the years who got locked up. If this venture helps people and it’s used for medicinal purposes and inspires people, it’s a success.

Damian Marley Vegoose Music Festival 2006
Damian Marley during the Vegoose Music Festival 2006 © Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Marley’s new farm will begin producing oil extracts in sixty days and will harvest its first crop in January. Marley was asked if he expected that one day cannabis plantations would have been legalised and answered:

I didn’t know it would happen this way. This was definitely something we were working towards for a long time, before I was even born. There was Peter Tosh’s ‘Legalize It’ and songs like that – this is something our culture has been working towards. I was optimistic that it would one day be legal, and now it is here.

Covered image: Damian Marley on the stage of the Vegoose Music Festival 2006 © Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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