NutraCast: Jill Ellsworth, CEO Willow Industries on hemp decontamination technology

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

NutraCast: Jill Ellsworth, CEO Willow Industries on hemp decontamination technology

Related tags Hemp nutracast

Imagine taking the time and effort to cultivate hemp across hundreds of acres, only to find out that your harvest is contaminated. The damage can cause an odor, spoilage or significant illness to the end user if left unchecked.

Enter Jill Ellsworth, founder and CEO of Willow Industries, which uses ozone as an organic kill-step to decontaminate cannabis and hemp. 

“We developed a proprietary patent-pending system called the Willow Pure that uses ozone gas to eliminate microbials on cannabis and hemp. So microbials will include mold, E. coli, salmonella, and different types of bacteria. So what it does is our machine pulls in oxygen, it converts that to ozone, the ozone diffuses into our system and kills the microbes on the plant material and then diffuses back to oxygen,”​ explained Ellsworth.

The CEO of Willow Industries used her background in nutrition to start her business in decontamination. She founded the cold-pressed, organic juice business, Vibrant Earth Juices, in Santa Barbara, CA in 2011 and Denver, CO in 2013.

“It doesn’t seem like a common path for a registered dietician,”​ laughed Ellsworth. “The cold pressed juice company really had focused me on how we protect consumers. In looking at the Cannabis and hemp industry, I was finding that food safety standards I was so used to coming out of the beverage industry were just were not there yet. And so I kind of have this crazy harebrained idea to find a way to develop a process to model food and beverage and implement a kill step into the hemp and cannabis industry.”

Willow Industries was launched in 2015. Ellsworth said six years later, she is working with hundreds of farmers and cultivators across the US and in Canada with one main goal: to protect consumers by helping producers put clean, safe product on the market. 

To hear more about Willow Industries, where Ellsworth sees hemp regulation going and how being a female in a male-dominated industry worked to her advantage, listen to the NutraCast.

You can also subscribe on iTunes​, Spotify ​, Stitcher​ and Google Podcasts​. 

NutraCast is a podcast that focuses on insights from inside the nutrition industry. It is a production by NutraIngredients-USA. Music by Kevin Macleod.

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