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Hacking Growth: Bootstrapping a Brand and Creating Exponential Growth with Inexpensive Tools

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Katherine Wolf
Malek's Premium Cannabis, Chief Marketing & Operations Officer

Katherine Wolf is a marketer, published writer, and branding specialist with a passion for helping cannabis companies grow and thrive. She is the Chief Marketing & Operations Officer of Malek's Premium Cannabis, a small-batch Colorado cultivator focused on flavor-first genetics. Katherine had an educational background in Marketing & Economics and five years of experience working with brands focused in tech and hospitality before starting her cannabis career with a national grow supply retailer. Today, she loves advocating for women in the cannabis industry and safe access to cannabis education and products for all. 

Jill Ellsworth
Willow Industries, Founder & CEO

Fueled by her passion for innovation and dedication to health, Jill Ellsworth has made a career of creating solutions for better living. Prior to launching Willow Industries, Jill founded Vibrant Earth Juices (VEJ), a Santa Barbara-based cold-pressed organic juice company. 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. After seeing the lack of health and safety standards, Jill transitioned into the legal cannabis industry to share her knowledge of food safety with the emerging market. In 2015, Jill founded Willow Industries, the first cannabis decontamination company in the country. Her patented, organic, ozone-based technology, WillowPure, breaks down harmful microbes living on cannabis, without affecting the medicinal properties of the plant, providing cultivators with a solution to ensure patients and consumers have access to consistently clean products. WillowPure systems are being leveraged by cannabis producers and brands in 26 states, Canada and Australia, through long-term leases, a mobile service in Colorado, and WillowPure Processing centers in CA and MA. She serves on the Cannabis Health and Safety Advisory Committee for the City of Denver, is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Cannabis Certification Council, and an author for a soon to be released ASTM International standard.

Anthony Alegrete
40 Tons, Chief Operations Officer

Anthony Alegrete is Operations Director at 40 Tons, a Black, woman-owned premium cannabis, clothing, and accessories brand from Los Angeles, California. Anthony oversees day-to-day organizational functions, including marketing, branding, and macro strategy. Representing those impacted by the system — cannabis prisoners, victims of the war on drugs, their families and loved ones — while a booming billion-dollar industry flourishes across the globe, 40 Tons was founded by the very legacy operators who’ve helped build the cannabis industry during the course of battle. Anthony took an unconventional path to receive his education by first getting a PhD in the system and the streets, then went back to school in his early thirties to get his bachelors and masters in the books. Anthony was formerly imprisoned, including a sentence along with lifelong friend Corvain Cooper. With fewer strikes against him, Anthony’s sentence was less harsh than Corvain’s, who received life without parole. Upon release, as cannabis laws began to relax across the U.S., Anthony and his wife Loriel Alegrete began their advocacy efforts to free Corvain. Eventually, this led to the creation of 40 Tons, and Corvain’s release through a grant of executive clemency from Donald Trump in his final days as President of The United States of America in 2021. It took the hard work of many individuals and organizations, including the entire 40 Tons team, to help break Corvain free. An entrepreneur for 22 years, Anthony has been instrumental in the rapid growth of 40 Tons, helping the enterprise and team realize its vision. Anthony went on to earn a Bachelors in Business Marketing at University Las Vegas, and a Masters in Organizational Leadership at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. He is also a partner in the video production company Blulight Films, and was Operations Director for Scoobeez San Diego where he oversaw logistics, managed 500 employees plus 10 managers, and was responsible for 1,500 deliveries a day. During his college tenure, Anthony was the first place recipient of the Donald W Reynolds Governor's Cup business plan competition for the entire state of Nevada. Just because someone carries it well, doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy. For more information, please visit:

Chris Mapson
PharmaCann, Vice President of Marketing

Before joining Pharmacann, Chris honed his 29+ years in design and management talents at a wide variety of organizations, ranging from Sony Electronics and Century Link to Aramark and Vicorp Restaurants. Chris is responsible for marketing strategy and execution for Verilife and LivWell Enlightened Health, including strategic direction in traffic driving initiatives, social strategy, and more.