As more people around the country gradually begin to accept marijuana as a plant rather than a drug, more plans surrounding this growing business continue to emerge. In a recent interview with Billboard, Damian Marley explained his plans to help expand the business in a way that would benefit all parties involved. Marley, in partnership with Ocean Grown Extracts, is working to transform an old California state prison into a grow space for medical marijuana. The former prison has 77,000 square feet of land available to be turned into farm land that could grow product for the many medical marijuana dispensaries within the state.
Marijuana is key part of Marley's lifestyle as it is always around him due to his friends, family, and faith. It comes as no surprise that he would try to make an effort to take the news and business around the plant into a positive direction. It seems ironic that a prison that once held inmates for legal offenses brought on by marijuana could become a new space to legally grow the same exact plant, but Marley is aware of this. "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 his partners from Ocean Grown Extracts $4.1 million purchase of the Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga, CA has already lifted an estimated $3.3 million debt from the city. This new business venture is also expected to provide at least 100 new jobs, not to mention the millions of dollars in profit and revenue. However, as medical marijuana continues to spread and become legalized in more states around America, Marley and his partners have hopes to expand beyond California. Just last month, Marley partnered with TruCannabis in Colorado to launch Stoney Hill—a 3,000 square foot dispensary in Denver—as well as a 30,000 square foot grow space.
This has been a long time coming for Marley, and many others, but it's just the beginning. "This was definitely something we were working towards for a long time, before I was even born," says Marley. "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."
Read the full interview here.