Did you hear? Back in 2016, Damien Marley — Bob Marley’s youngest son — partnered with Ocean Grown Extracts to convert a former 77,000 square foot prison in California into a cannabis grow space. The multi-million dollar facility is now producing quality herb which is being sold to medical marijuana dispensaries.
As one might expect, the irony of the entire ordeal hasn’t been lost on Marley. Said the 38-year-old entrepreneur: “Many people sacrificed so much for the herb over the years who got locked up. If this [venture] helps people and it’s used for medicinal purposes and inspires people, it’s a success.”
When the news first made headlines, the initiative was estimated to generate at least 100 jobs. Such was applauded, considering the state’s ongoing drought and descending oil prices have devastated the local economy. The millions of dollars generated in annual tax revenues, as well, have supported growth in Coalinga, California, where the former Claremont Custody Center is located.
Dan Dalton, Marley’s longtime manager, explained that the business began “in a very organic way.” He 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.”
Upon announcing the vision, Marley also introduced Speak Life, a proprietary strain of cannabis he created in partnership with Ocean Growth. Reportedly, the strain is based on the company’s popular OG Kush, but was altered with the help of a Ph.D trained chemist. “The OG has always been my favorite,” says Marley. “When they introduced this strain of OG I really loved it and loved its consistency.” According to Billboard, the strain is a 70/30 indica-dominant hybrid which is hand-watered and trimmed.
Now that California’s Proposition 64 has passed, dispensaries are getting ready for the recreational “green rush” which will take place in January of 2018. Marley and his team will be but a few grow operations prepared to meet the skyrocketing demand for marijuana head-on.
Considering marijuana has killed 0 people in history and components of the plant have been proven to benefit cancer, seizures, Parkinson’s disease and other modern-day afflictions, it makes sense for the United States and other nations to decriminalize it. At the very least, it should lose its Schedule I status, as it is exponentially safer than alcohol and even caffeine.