Damian Marley, the youngest son of Reggae icon Bob Marley, is partnering with Ocean Grown Extracts to convert an abandoned prison into a cannabis cultivation facility.
The 77,000 square foot Claremont Custody Center will be used to grow cannabis for California’s medical cannabis dispensaries. “Many people sacrificed so much for the herb over the years who got locked up,” says Marley. “If this [venture] helps people and it’s used for medicinal purposes and inspires people, it’s a success.”
Marley and Co. purchased the prison for $4.1 million, an act that reversed the small town’s $3.3 million of debt. The new business is also expected to create 100 jobs in an area struggling with a number of economic hardships.
The facility should begin processing cannabis oil in the next 60 days, and anticipate their first harvest in January 2017. Dan Smith, Marley’s manager said “Cannabis is something that’s around Damian every day with friends, family and with his Rastafarian faith. We’ve watched people who have sacrificed their lives for it. That injustice has motivated us to be advocates as well as knowing that there are healing properties in cannabis.”
Marley will split his time between this venture and his music career. His fourth studio album, Stony Hill will also hit shelves next January. The album shares its name with a Denver dispensary and features a track named after a new Marley strain of cannabis, Speak Life.
When asked about the upcoming legalization efforts in California, Marley said, “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.”