This small Massachusetts grower entered the industry in mid-2022 with cultivation operations yielding first harvests closer to the end of the year. While they achieved a middling level of compliance success through their first few harvests, the team was disappointed to observe elevated failure rates as time went on.
This group contacted Willow Industries after reading about our organic kill step technology. We observed and assessed their previous COA’s, determined that their contamination issue was likely to escalate further as time progressed, and engaged in a long-term relationship.
The cultivation team opted for a full Willow lease, cognizant of the benefits of our science team’s inputs on their upstream process.
The Willow science team conducted an on-site microbial assessment, swabbing all contact surfaces, collecting physical raw material samples, and performing air quality tests throughout each room within the cultivation facility.
Microbial assessment results indicated the presence of large-scale contamination on new rockwool and coco entering the facility for use throughout the cultivation process. The Willow Industries science team communicated this to the cultivation staff. From there, the results were shared with the manufacturer who insisted that the presence of contamination was impossible. As a result of this denial, Willow Industries conducted further microbial tests on subsequent samples of fresh rockwool and coco and delivered those results to the cultivation staff once again. Despite the manufacturer’s rejection of the preliminary evidence, extensive contamination was observed on all follow-up samples as well.
As a result of this testing, the cultivation staff made the decision to shift their raw material sourcing to another manufacturer. When the new coco and rockwool were delivered, Willow conducted one additional round of validation testing to ensure that similar levels of contamination were not present on the newly sourced raw materials.
Both the cultivation staff and members of Willow’s science team were pleased to find that the newly sourced materials demonstrated no presence of contamination when arriving fresh at the cultivation facility. These results bore fruit some short time later when the first harvest using the new materials was pulled down and sent off for testing.
Every single strain passed with flying colors.
Willow will continue to work with this cultivator to perform follow-up assessments and additional validation testing as opportunities arise. This proactive approach ensures that the positive results yielded by the preliminary microbial assessment and science-based investigation will be continually realized time after time as the facility grows, adds new staff and processes, and continues to dial in their practices.