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Turlock’s first indoor cannabis grow moving forward
JDI Farms
JDI Farms will grow, process, package and distribute cannabis products for their retail locations located in other towns at their new Turlock facility at 600 D St. (Journal file photo).

Turlock’s first indoor cannabis cultivation site will soon be up and running in the City’s industrial zone, completing a years-long process for its owner with Turlock roots. 

The 20,000-plant grow operation will be the vertically-integrated cannabis hub for JDI Farms, Inc., owned by Darron Silva of Turlock. Silva’s company already operates a smaller greenhouse grow in Patterson as well as dispensaries in Patterson, Oakdale, Empire and soon, Modesto. In the forthcoming 98,770 square-foot operation located at 600 D St. in Turlock, JDI Farms will grow, process, package and distribute cannabis products for their retail locations located in other towns. 

Silva, a Turlock High School graduate, had hoped to participate in the City’s Cannabis Pilot Program with an additional retail storefront, but his business fell short in the ranking process for dispensaries selected to operate in Turlock. While JDI Farms was included in the top 10 for the dispensaries allowed in the pilot program, it did not make the top four which were ultimately selected.

Still, to have completed the process of operating Turlock’s first cultivation site is an accomplishment in itself, he said, following the City’s approval of the grow’s conditional use permit earlier this month.

“It means everything to me because this is my home and this is where I wanted my business to be,” Silva said. “It’s a city that I support and I would love to be able to support it with our retail business here as well, instead of supporting Stanislaus County, Patterson and Oakdale, which is great, but there's nothing like being able to perfect your business in your hometown and being able to support your hometown with your business.”

It’s been a long time coming for the JDI Farms cultivation site in Turlock, which will provide financial support to the City through a Development Agreement approved in 2019. Under the agreement, JDI Farms will pay the City a monthly public benefit amount of $10 per square foot each for cultivation and manufacturing, and 2.5 percent of gross receipts for distribution.

The 20,000 cannabis plants will require about 20,000 gallons of water per day, Silva said, noting that JDI Farms utilizes a drip system to conserve water and will even use recycled water from condensation on the site’s air conditioning and dehumidifier systems. 

It’s estimated that JDI Farms will employ about 40 people for the new operation, which will be vertically integrated, meaning Silva controls the supply chain from seed-to-sale, distributing to not only the company’s local dispensaries, but to other retail locations statewide. It’s Silva’s hope that should the City decide to eventually allow a fifth retail dispensary, the Turlock native’s business would be chosen. 

“I’m hoping that us following through with this prompts them to allow us to open our store up and complete our vertical integration,” Silva said. “The only thing we didn’t get is the retail, and the retail would complete our vertical integration in the City of Turlock...we could say, ‘Hey, your product came from right down the road.’”