Willow Industries with founder Jill Ellsworth
Willow Industries with founder Jill Ellsworth today on Plant Prophets with Vern Davis only on Cannabis Radio. It begins in early 2015, with an unexpected phone call. It was Jill’s old friend, a first-time grower, and he had a problem: Colorado had new cannabis testing laws, and his first harvest was now subject to testing. By the time the call ended, two things were obvious: cannabis contamination—by mold or other means—was an industry-wide problem, and there were no solutions on the market. But a solution did seem possible, so I agreed to help. Over the next few months, our garage became an R&D lab. And They’ve tried everything. Willow started with high-pressure pasteurization, but that destroyed the flower. Then they moved to UV light, but it wasn’t powerful enough and—worse—they saw terpene loss. Finally, after multiple rounds of testing, they arrived at the ozone. This time, Willow saw great results. Ozone killed the microbial without altering the flower—our perfect solution! Four months later, they delivered the first operational WillowPure system to their first customer, and it was off to the races.
Fueled by her passion for innovation and dedication to health, Jill has made a career of creating solutions for better living. Prior to launching Willow Industries in 2015, Jill founded Vibrant Earth Juices (VEJ), a Santa Barbara-based cold-pressed organic juice company. Named Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Emerging Business in 2013, Jill became passionate about pasteurization techniques, employing High-Pressure Processing (HPP) to prevent microbial growth and increase the shelf-life and freshness for her juice line. Later, Jill parlayed VEJ into a beverage distribution company, helping place various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in Whole Foods, King Soopers, Natural Grocers, yoga studios, coffee shops, and other healthy eating establishments. Jill, who serves on the Cannabis Health and Safety Advisory Committee for the City of Denver, as well as the Technical Advisory Committee for the Cannabis Certification Council, is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. She holds an MS in Nutrition, Dietetics, & Food Science, a BA in Communications, and a BS in Nutrition from California State University, Northridge and Cal Poly San Louis Obispo.