Is that pot kosher? Apparently it depends
Isit kosher? That question may have never occurred to you about medical marijuana, but now at least one business has an answer.
Vireo Health says its nonsmokable medical cannabis products for sale in New York state have been certified as conforming to Jewish dietary law by the Orthodox Union.
Vireo says it’s the first time a medical cannabis product has been deemed kosher.
But if you ask Canada’s largest kosher certification agency, there’s no need to worry. The Kashruth Council of Canada ruled last week that the Jewish faith doesn’t require sick people to consume kosher medicines, said managing director Richard Rabkin. “We don’t really want to get into the business of providing kosher certification for something that is doctor-prescribed. We’re not going to go down that path,” Rabkin told the Canadian Press. But Kosher Check, a global kosher certification agency headquartered in British Columbia, debated the issue two years ago and decided in favor of certifying edible medical pot products.
Kosher Check’s Rabbi Mendy Feigelstock said dried marijuana that is smoked is automatically considered kosher since it is a plant. However, edible products including oils, capsules, brownies and cookies would need to be certified.
In New York state, the Orthodox Union says it awarded certification after inspecting Vireo’s facilities to ensure that the marijuana was grown and processed according to kosher standards. Those include, for example, insect-free plants.
Vireo says the certification will help the company serve patients among New York’s Jewish population, the nation’s largest. The program is slated to start this month and will serve patients in the state with certain qualifying conditions.