Cannabiz In Coalinga

By: Marla Garden

Damian Marley “Jr. Gong” has been a respected figure in the cannabis industry since he was a child. His lifestyle is encompassing of marijuana, from his music to his religion. It’s no surprise that he’s making innovative changes that boost the cannabis industry and integrate the industry into communities. Damian has been on course to create real change in California and it seems that his success isn’t likely to slow down.

The city of Coalinga, California was previously in debt by about $3.3 million- a city that has faced economic distress due to droughts that led to a decline in local farming. Coalinga’s future was looking bleak until Damian Marley and his partners purchased real estate in the city for $4.1 million. The property that Marley purchased was a prison, and his plans include transforming the compound into a marijuana grow. The prison turned marijuana grow operation should create at least 100 jobs in Coalinga.

The facilities will not only be growing marijuana but extracting, and packaging products to be sold. The operation negotiated with Coalinga County in order to hire convicted felons, which is a statement in itself. A state prison turned marijuana grow that hires felons; the future seems a bit brighter considering the accomplishments of Damian Marley.

According to the Drug Policy Alliance, less than one percent of legal cannabis grows are owned by people of color. In an interview with VICE, Marley was quoted as saying “I hadn’t really been thinking about it, but now that you mentioned it, yes. A lot of the people I’m dealing with are white.”

Beyond local cannabiz, Marley also owns and operates Stony Hill, a dispensary in Denver, Colorado.