Situation

This Nevada cultivator reached out to the Willow team in 2021 with systemic contamination issues throughout their facility. While they had had some limited success in the early days of their operation, as time went on they found that facility issues continued to come to light with the impact of those issues demonstrated in elevated compliance challenges month after month. 

The Willow team discussed COA’s and ongoing microbial challenges before both parties committed to a long-term relationship. From there, the micro investigation began. 

Solution

The Willow Science team surveyed the facility and performed a variety of environmental tests aimed at determining the major contributing sources of contamination. The results of this survey indicated that the contamination was stemming primarily from two major sources: incoming contaminants on fresh coco and rockwool used as substrate, and general post-harvest contamination from re-exposure to worker interaction and poor air quality.

Willow’s Customer Success team was then able to make recommendations tailored to these findings. Rockwool and coco were replaced with material supplied from a new distributor with follow-up tests conducted to confirm that the new material was free from contamination. Additionally, upon receipt of their microbial assessment results the cultivation staff was able to implement additional air quality control measures in their post-harvest spaces which were combined with tighter employee workflow and cleaning SOP’s to limit the risk of recontamination during the post-harvest process.

Outcome

As a result of the data provided by Willow’s Science team, in tandem with the on-site improvements implemented across the cultivation process, this cultivator was able to achieve nearly 100% compliance within a few short weeks of beginning their WillowPure lease.

But they didn’t stop there. Conscious of the constant ebb and flow of microbial challenges, whether increased due to seasonal changes or due to system failures within the facility itself, this cultivation staff opted to implement a full microbial kill-step as a permanent part of their post-harvest process.

On the ground, this involves treating each and every batch put out by the cultivation operation with a short kill-step in the Willow. This secures the shelf-life of their product, decreasing the risk of recalls driven by secret shoppers once the product hits the shelf. Additionally, implementing the kill-step allows this cultivator to operate with a higher level of security. They were able to build out a dataset based on runtime recommendations provided by the Willow team and, with constant ongoing treatments being performed, continue to dial in their unit for their practices and workflows specifically.

This cultivation partner continues to shine as one of Willow’s greatest success stories. Their implementation of a full WillowPure kill-step ensures elevated compliance results moving forward while serving to prepare the on-site team for any regulatory shifts that may come their way. We couldn’t be more proud to call them a partner and we can’t help but share these successes with you. 

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