The city of Coalinga in Central California was founded on the discovery of a petroleum field. Now the deficit-ridden city is looking to strike it rich again, but this time with marijuana oil.
Coalinga might find a wealthy future in the marijuana industry by transforming its vacant state prison into a marijuana oil cultivation and manufacturing facility, reports The Fresno Bee.
Ocean Grown Extracts wants to use the 77,000-square-foot Claremont Custody Center for a marijuana operation that would generate over 100 full-time jobs with benefits, and if California legalizes recreational marijuana use this November, it could employ closer to 200 employees.
The lease and tax payments from renting the vacant prison would produce nearly $2 million per year for the dwindling city.
Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Keough stated, “People are hurting – the oil industry is losing jobs. We’re talking about 100 full-time jobs, and no dope in the streets.”
According to the city’s most recent audit in 2014, it is running a $3.3 million budget deficit. “One company could take us out of the red in three years,” said Keough.