Saturday, October 31, 2020
JESSICA MCKEIL
HEALTH 02.25.2020

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Western medicine unable to treat his failing health, Harry Rose, of Rosette Wellness found his cure next door.
cannabis bud of plant
How does one go from working with the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to building a sun-grown organic cannabis brand in the foothills of Humboldt County? It took a brush with death followed by a near-miraculous recovery to set Harry Rose, founder of Rosette Wellness, on a new career trajectory. His incredible journey is what movies are made out of.
For 22 years, Rose worked behind the scenes with the big names in tech. It was a career spent working hard, traveling the globe, launching technologies that would change the world. But, Rose’s 100-hour work weeks eventually caught up with him.
In the early 2000s, a series of progressively severe medical issues began to take a toll on his body. What eventually grew into autoimmune disease started as progressively confusing symptoms, including ulcerative colitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and worrying neurological symptoms. Rose was, quite literally, “falling apart” by the time his diagnosis came — eight frustrating years later. “By the time they did figure it out, they basically sent me home to die in hospice,” Rose recalled.
No matter what Western medicine threw at his disease, from steroids to opioids, nothing reversed the dire prognosis. By 2007, Rose had become desperate enough to try just about anything. He kept asking himself, “How am I going to get out of this?”
By this point, Rose, a Humboldt county resident, had already begun taking tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil for his condition. THC is a cannabinoid, which is a medicinal compound sourced from cannabis flower. But, while these straight THC concoctions had helped, they hadn’t put him completely into recovery. He still struggled to find solutions for his lingering symptoms.
In the end, he didn’t have to look far, as the solution was living next door. During one of many research sessions, Rose stumbled onto a short, nondescript blog by a biologist about cannabidiol (CBD) for autoimmune diseases. Unlike THC, which is intoxicating, CBD is a cannabinoid which does not trigger a high.
Rose latched on to the idea and ran with it, connecting with a long time friend Lawrence Ringo, the famed Southern Humboldt County cannabis breeder. Long before the Golden Age of cannabis and well before anyone had heard of CBD, Ringo was testing strains for THC and stumbled on to the treasure of strong CBD genetics.
Working closely with Ringo, Rose began experimenting with new cannabis strains and extractions. He reached out to Rick Simpson (of Phoenix Tears fame) for advice. As he tells it, Simpson “was the one that really gave me inspiration and hope that cannabis oil could be my answer.” Under Simpson’s guidance, using rudimentary techniques to create a high-THC concentrate, Rose began to see improvements in his pain, IBD, and bleeding. Soon, he began daily dosing with new concentrates made from the high-CBD strains produced by Ringo.
Sixty days after beginning his daily treatment regime with Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), Rose awakened to a revelation:, “There was a day that I woke up and forgot that I was sick.” He describes the day as miraculous and “truly unbelievable.” As he explains, “To wake up and literally forget, it just hit me in the head like a ton of bricks. I realized what had happened.”
It’s now nearly 15 years later, and Rose’s autoimmune disease is still in remission following his year of intense treatment with cannabis oil. Flare-ups or digestive issues are kept in check with continued daily dosing with his signature blends of Rosette Wellness tincture (cannabis-derived extractions).
Fifteen years earlier, word of Rose’s recovery spread. People began flocking to Rose and Ringo as a last resort to treat a variety of medical conditions. Rose details how “it got to the point that we had like 100 people coming to us a week” who were “patients out of time and out of money.” During most of this period working as a clandestine operation, Rose and Ringo were giving away as much of it as possible. Unwittingly, Rose had become a medicine man.
Naturally, today’s line of Rosette Wellness tinctures grew out of Rose’s personal experience and his years developing new formulations within the foothills of Humboldt county. While the tinctures available today are far removed from the crude RSO creations of the past, over a decade of experience and experimentation has led to a modern, scientifically superior, full-spectrum extraction.
The most popular THC:CBD ratios on the market come from the hard work, breeding, and extraction techniques pioneered by Ringo and himself.
The cannabis landscape today is inspired by all the years of “Little Harry and Ringo sitting in the woods in Humboldt county, concocting this stuff and testing it.”
Ringo passed away in 2012, but “until the day he died, his passion was breeding the seeds for the plants that I use today in my medicine.” Rosette Wellness continues to base all its products on the strains developed by Ringo. Strong genetics has always been the basis of its formulation.
Built on top of Ringo’s CBD-rich strains, Rose continues to design new methods of extraction. Methods which, as he says, “[lock] up all the bad stuff, and [make] all the good stuff accessible.” In practice, this means ethanol-based, cryogenic temperatures produce “high end, very clean, full-spectrum oils, which have no bonds broken between the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other medicinal compounds.” Terpenes are the aromatic botanical oils which give cannabis its unique scent, but also may hold medicinal properties.
For him, it is crucial to keep the magic within the plant—to keep all the molecular chains intact. Everything is lifted from the plant, to deliver the true fingerprint of the strain. In Rose’s opinion, narrowly focused formulations are not as valuable as full-spectrum options, as “[i]t is the plant that does the magic, and any manipulation of that is in error in human judgment.”
Since Rose began his journey, his company has witnessed a rapidly shifting landscape of social norms and legal opinion. The California of the early 2000s, when Rose first started his own treatment, is a far cry from what it looks like today. Without trying, Rosette Wellness found itself at the forefront of this tsunami of societal change. Rosette Wellness pivoted and adapted to reach the finish line to become fully compliant in 2017.
Through the company’s many iterations, from clandestine backwoods operation to fully licensed and compliant, Rose has remained dedicated to a clean final product and a clean environment. He has spent a decade or more cultivating organically, relying on beneficial run-off techniques and sustainable, regenerative practices. Revolutionary extraction techniques, tried and true organic cultivation practices, and strong genetics have created a foundation for the Rosette Wellness to spring from.
According to Rose, 2020 is on track to be a big year in more ways than one. Rose has been working feverishly on relaunching the company under Rosette Wellness. As per Rose, “We have aggressively hit the ground running,” with big announcements and new store locations expected in the coming weeks. Soon, he’s planning on adding cannabis capsules and topicals into the Rosette lineup of tinctures and oils.
In another exciting move, he has teamed up with Tim Blake, founder of the Emerald Cup, to create the Emerald Cup Supply Co. Blake has been battling multiple cancers and is following a strict regimen of Rosette tinctures.
Launched at the 2019 Emerald Cup, this new brand doesn’t stray far from Rose’s passion for sun-grown, organic cultivation. The new product line will eventually include cartridges, flowers, and extracts for the recreational market.
Despite his many years in the industry, Rose remains just as passionate today as he was at the start. As Rosette Wellness launches into 2020 at a feverish pace, Rose is eager to continue tinkering with the extraction process, including some exciting new adventures in solventless extraction technologies. He promises continued expansion and experimentation in partnership with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Copyright © 2020. The National Business Post. All rights reserved.
Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer covering cannabis. She is passionate about technology, cultivation, and breakthroughs in cannabinoid medicine. Based in Squamish, British Columbia, she is riding the wave of legalization in Canada. When not entrenched in research, Jessica is likely wandering the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest with her partner and dog.