Following the widespread wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington in 2020, cultivators in the area raised concerns about smoke odor lingering on entire batches of harvested cannabis and were looking for a way to salvage their crops.
In response, Willow Industries has expanded its service offerings to include remediation for smoke-damaged cannabis harvests. Through the WillowPure Processing Facility in Oakland, CA, the company is providing a solution for cannabis cultivators with lingering smoke odor on their harvest.
The WillowPure 360 is used as an organic, post-harvest kill-step designed to effectively mitigate microbials on cannabis while preserving and protecting its natural properties. Through its R&D process, the company found that its WillowPure ozone decontamination technology was effective in removing smoke odor from the finished flower, giving potentially damaged harvests a second chance.
“After conversations with cultivators whose harvests were impacted by the wildfires, we saw an opportunity – a call to action – to implement our existing practices to solve this issue,” said Jill Ellsworth, founder and CEO of Willow. “We’re looking forward to building out this offering and working in good faith with our partners to refine the smoke remediation process through continued research and innovation. We know that these wildfires aren’t going to stop, and the industry needs a long-term, sustainable solution to support growers’ bottom lines, restore value to their crops, and drive returns on their product.”
Willow’s research found that the technology is effective in removing the smoke-derived volatile phenols deposited onto the cannabis plant. This smoky odor masks the terpenes and aromas consumers often look for. Using a precise amount of ozone, WillowPure technology allows for the removal of unwanted smells while maintaining the flower’s natural terpenes.
“Smoke damage hurts growers and cultivators because it diminishes a product’s value and could lead to unsellable flower,” said Bill Emmack, Facility Manager at the WillowPure Processing Facility. “The odor isn’t going to subside with time, and long-term storage in less than ideal conditions can lead to more issues like mold and yeast contamination. By using ozone to restore product impacted by wildfires, growers are able to save their harvests and keep the supply chain moving with shelf-safe, high-quality cannabis for consumers.”
Think20 Labs located in Irvine, California has joined in support of Willow’s initiative to help cultivators affected by wildfires as well as compliance and consumer safety. Think20 labs is providing a complimentary R&D test as an initial step in the smoke remediation process. This test ensures there are no heavy metals or chemical residues present that would cause compliance failure and risk consumer safety.
“In reviewing our testing data pre- and post-remediation by Willow, we are very encouraged by the findings thus far,” said Steve Donofrio, Chief Marketing Officer at Think20 Labs. “At Think20 we pride ourselves on accurate testing at low levels of detection. Willow’s process is a scientific step forward to solving an unmet need in the industry, and we are happy to be a part of this initiative.”
Following their R&D test, Willow is offering cultivators a complimentary first cycle, giving them the chance to smell the difference before and after WillowPure, and providing them the opportunity to then restore their harvest to full market value.