This is the story of the first WillowPure.
It begins in early 2015, with an unexpected phone call. It was my 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.
The conversation went something like this…
Grower friend: “…didn’t you used to remove mold from fruit and stuff?”
Me: “Well, kind of. That process was part of my juice company. Why?”
Grower friend: “Okay, great! Think you could do something similar for my flower…it has mold?”
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 we tried everything. We started with high-pressure pasteurization, but that destroyed the flower. Then we moved to UV light, but it wasn’t powerful enough and—worse—we saw terpene loss. Finally, after multiple rounds of testing, we arrived at ozone.
This time, we saw great results. Ozone killed the microbials without altering the flower—our perfect solution! Four months later, we delivered the first operational WillowPure system to our first customer, and it was off to the races.
Since those early years, we’ve expanded into 13 new states, and kept the same core goal: to help cultivators provide clean, safe cannabis to consumers. And this will never change. Willow is a company built for cannabis, by people who care about cannabis, and we’re thrilled to see what the next chapter will bring.
Founder & CEO
Willow Industries is built on one simple principle: cannabis businesses should have the resources they need to provide patients and consumers consistently clean products. That is why we believe in working in tandem with the state regulatory agencies that govern the cannabis industry to provide transparency to our customers. Our systems mitigate surprises during the testing process and inspections as well as ensures the highest quality product reaches the end consumer.
Because we are built on this foundation of compliance, we look to have our technology and WillowPure systems reviewed and permitted for use by state specific regulatory agencies.
Contact us today to learn more about using a WillowPure System in your state.
WillowPure specs are in accordance with OSHA and National Fire Protection Agency Standards and has an establishment number with the EPA.
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.
Most recently, Jill was selected by Marijuana Business Daily as one of their 2019 Women to Watch in Cannabis. She has also been honored by cannabis lifestyle magazine, Greendorphin, as one of the 20 most influential women in cannabis.
Jason Ellsworth is the co-founder and CFO for Willow Industries. Jason has more than a decade of experience in the financial industry. Within the world of finance, he has specialized in real estate investing, management, training, financial accounting, retirement planning, investment strategy and sales.
Jason holds a B. S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Colorado State University. He also holds or has held the following securities licenses and accreditations: Series 7, Series 6, Series 63, APMA (Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor).
Josh Kule is the VP Sales and Business Development at Willow. In addition to spearheading Willow’s national expansion and growth strategy, Josh oversees the day-to-day operations of all sales activities. He and his team are committed to fulfilling Willow’s mission to bring clean cannabis to consumers everywhere.
Josh earned a B.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan University. He’s an avid traveler, hiker and music lover who’s currently working on his skiing skills in Colorado’s beautiful mountains.
Steve Ottman is the Head of Product for Willow Industries. After being introduced to pasteurization technology through his work with Jill and her previous company, Steve helped develop the first WillowPure system. With several years of experience with ozone applications in cannabis, Steve is an expert on Willow systems and ozone safety.
Steve holds a Bachelor’s in Music and Sound Recording from the University of New Haven, and continues to teach music lessons and perform around the greater Denver area in his spare time.
Sam Weber is Willow’s Director of Marketing. He provides strategic oversight of Willow’s public profile and recently led the company’s logo and website redesign. As Willow’s resident cannabis advocate, Sam understands the needs of multiple stakeholders and enjoys leading brand initiatives that engage cultivators, regulators, and consumers.
Sam graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science. He is also a U.S. Air Force veteran, avid reader and writer, and Phish fanatic.