“I was at a friend’s farm, where we had to burn at least 100 lbs of last year’s cannabis. Many farmers I know have a lot of old product that just gets destroyed, as they don’t know what to do with it. I knew there had to be a better way. There is too much time, money, and energy going into growing this product, just for it to get burned,” says Kristen Stanek-Klawitter, cannabis farmer and Executive Director of Operation RSO. “I took home some of the old product to make RSO out of it, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. You can make RSO from last year’s flower, and it’s still beautiful, it doesn’t need to be recently harvested to make it. So, what if we turn the product that used to be burned into medicine?”

In fact, that was the night Operation RSO was born: a nonprofit providing RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) free of charge to veterans and other people in need of medicine. In just a couple of months, Kristen has over 600 people on the waiting list to get the medicine. “We are now busy getting everything ready to start this important venture. We are currently seeking donations and sponsors to help us get a manufacturing facility.”

A need for RSO
According to Kristen, there is an evident need for more RSO. “Many patients rely on it. It’s effective for cancer, pain, epilepsy, and diabetes. There are so many ways to use this medicine, but it’s not very well known yet. So, one of our goals is to educate people on what RSO is and the different ways to use it.” For the people who rely on the medicine, it’s a challenge to access it. “Many dispensaries don’t carry it. If they do, they usually have one or two kinds and often not the greatest quality. We’ve learned over the years that certain strains work better for certain types of illnesses. Yet you can’t go to a dispensary to request a specific strain of RSO because you’re lucky if you find one package of it.” On top of that, it’s expensive. “A cancer patient on a typical RSO protocol will usually need 60 grams in a 60-day period, and a gram can cost between $30-100. For a full treatment, costs add up very quickly.”

Kristen explains that the way cannabis is grown for RSO is very important. “The best RSO is made from sun-grown cannabis that is grown organically and regeneratively.” Therefore, at Kristen’s farm, they’ve been implementing the JADAM method of farming. “With JADAM, you’re using the land and what it produces to create your own nutrients. For example, we use leaf mold, sea salt, and potatoes to make nutrients that give the soil more microbes.” The growers have been able to significantly reduce their costs as a result. “During our first year of operation, we spent over $100,000 at grow stores for nutrients. After introducing JADAM into our practices this season, we probably spent around $500. On top of that, the quality of the flower is amazing, our yields have increased, and the THC levels are off the charts in comparison to other years.”

Currently, Kristen is seeking donations and corporate sponsors to help them get into the manufacturing facility and get this medicine out to those who need it. “We’re launching a new website soon that outlines all the sponsor benefits for businesses that want to help support our efforts.” Kristen also plans to work towards legislative actions to help this medicine become legal across the world. “A good friend of mine was suffering from the worst form of breast cancer the doctors had ever seen. She knew we were making the oil and using it successfully for many people, but because it wasn’t legal at the time where she lived, she was unwilling to use it. The day she passed away was the day before we put our offer in to buy our farm. It’s a major goal of mine to stop that from happening to anyone else. Everyone who needs and wants this medicine should have access to it. Operation RSO will help to solve so many problems for so many people: it will create jobs for people in the cannabis and nonprofit community, get RSO to veterans and anyone who is sick and in need, offer a place for farms to send products they can’t sell to, reduce costs for farmers by not having to store old product (or burn it) and also be a collaborative marketing tool (and tax deduction) for businesses who help us to do this.”

For more information:
Kristen Stanek-Klawitter
Operation RSO