From Crude To Cannabis Oil In Coalinga

Coalinga California - Medicinal Marijuana
Image: BigStock

A jail in California that was likely the place of incarceration for many cannabis growers is being repurposed to cultivate the plant for medical purposes.

The Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga, California once housed more than 500 inmates at any given time for over 20 years. It was shut down in 2011, impacting heavily on jobs and the local economy. The City of Coalinga was also left footing the bills for ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the shuttered facility, costing it millions.

But better days are ahead – Claremont Custody Center will fulfill a much different function in the near future.

Coalinga city officials have recently agreed to sell the facility to a local medical cannabis company, Ocean Grown Extracts. The old jail is perfect for growing and processing cannabis due to its security features, a prerequisite for cultivation and manufacturing operations.

Cannabis will be a new (legal) industry for Coalinga. According to The Fresno Bee, the City Council approved medical marijuana cultivation, deliveries and dispensaries in January; but faced some backlash that threw a spanner in the works.

Coalinga Mayor Pro Tempore Patrick Keough said to work through the issues, a great deal of time and effort was required in the form of educating local residents and allaying their concerns. Part of this education effort was a Medical Marijuana Workshop, presented by Michael Green of the Fresno Cannabis Club

With the various grievances settled (for the most part), the region can now look forward to a new lucrative industry and much-needed jobs.

“You can never do anything that satisfies everyone,” Mr. Keough said, “but we were pretty darn close to doing that.”

Coalinga is a small city of around 18,000; situated in Fresno County and the western San Joaquin Valley, in central California. The discovery of crude oil established Coalinga in the late 19th century, but cannabis oil may be what helps save it.

While cultivation will occur in Coalinga, medical marijuana dispensaries are another matter. Those are still illegal in the area, but “could be discussed later”. Ocean Grown Extracts will sell all its cannabis oil wholesale to dispensaries elsewhere.