The central California city of Coalinga has taken the unusual step of selling its former prison for $4.1 million to a cannabis company that will convert it into a medical marijuana oil extraction plant.
The prison, which has sat unused for several years, was sold to Ocean Grown Extracts by the Coalinga City Council under a deal formally approved on Thursday, according to the Fresno Bee.
Ocean Grown pledged to hire 100 locals to staff the new operation, and hopes to have it up and running within six months, co-owner Casey Dalton told the Bee. They also will rely on the local airport to ship their product around the state.
The city, located in the conservative San Joaquin Valley, had resisted legalizing medical cannabis. But the lure of the economic boom eventually wore down resistance to MMJ. The sale of the prison to Ocean Grown, for example, will bring the city of Coalinga out of debt and into the black. And it’s possible that other localities around California may follow suit, especially in advance of November’s statewide vote on recreational cannabis.