COALINGA (CBS SF) — The Claremont Custody Center once housed inmates convicted on marijuana charges.

If Damian Marley, the youngest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley, has his way it may soon be the site of one of the largest indoor marijuana farms in California.

Coalinga city officials recently agreed to sell the 77,000 square foot former prison site to Marley and his partners — Ocean Grow Extracts — for $4.1 million.

Prior to the prison’s closure in 2011, the facility had the capacity to house more than 500 inmates.

“It’s like the Grateful Dead said: ‘What a long, strange trip it’s been,’” Coalinga Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Keough told the Fresno Bee after he and council members voted 4-1 in favor of the plan. “We listened to the citizens and created a package that was reflective of our population.”

For his part, Marley told Billboard magazine he saw a kind of poetic justice of a prison being converted to a medical marijuana farm.

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


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