By Alex Schwantner
“What a long strange trip its been…’ we listened to the citizens and created a package that was reflective of the population…”
This from Mayor Patrick Keogh of the central California city of Coalignia summing up six months of intense debate over marijuana policy. Now, with the allowance of cultivation and processing within the city, Coalinga was able to finalize a deal with Marijuana producer Ocean Grown Extracts regarding the sale of a dormant prison for use as a production facility.
The $4.1 million sale “will immediately bring Coalinga’s general fund into the black,” according to a report from The Fresno Bee. “City Manager Marissa Trejo said Coalinga was $3.3 million to $3.8 million in debt.”
Last January the city council had voted to allow the cultivation and processing of medical marijuana but backtracked when the decision was met with outcry from community members. However, after months of special meetings and workshops aimed at educating the public, progress resumed. The vote passed 4 to 1 with no opposition from the well informed public.
Negotiations with Ocean Grown Extracts began in march and with the newly finalized laws coming into effect the city is experiencing instant gratification.
Ocean Grown estimates their new facility will create upwards of 100 jobs. “We appreciate Coalinga taking a chance not only on us, but on the industry,” Ocean Grown co-owner Casey Dalton told The Fresno Bee.
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