NY Orthodox Rabbis certify medical marijuana as kosher.
Medical marijuana or medical cannabis which is the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms. The legalization of medical marijuana has seen the market getting flooded with marijuana products, like marijuana lotions, marijuana edibles, and so on. The medical marijuana industry is booming. 2016 is slated to see a rise of $1 billion in legal sales of marijuana products. Boutique investment bank Ackrell Capital, reports that last year, the legal sales of marijuana products crossed $4 billion.
The market is becoming competitive. Hence, the companies are looking for different ways to promote their legal marijuana products sales. They are looking for ways to make their products appeal to a variety of consumers. The targeted customers also include Jews, hence, the companies are trying to certify their products as kosher by letting the Rabbis inspect their medical marijuana plants.
From a kosher dietary standpoint, smoking marijuana in itself is not an issue, since cannabis itself is kosher. It is a leaf. However, when making a marijuana product, a lot of things has to be considered, like its ingredients, whether it is being manufactured or made in a kosher kitchen, and so on. In the Jewish religion, there are certain foods that are forbidden, like pigs, insects, and so on. So care should be taken while making marijuana products that they do not come in contact with forbidden food.
The only exception to kosher rules is when it comes to lifesaving medical treatments. A cancer drug, irrespective of whether it was made with a forbidden Jewish food, can be taken by a Jew.
NY Rabbis inspecting medical marijuana plants to assess kosher status of marijuana products https://t.co/TA8wKFwiYz
— Peter Henne (@pehenne) May 6, 2016
Vireo, a subsidiary of Vireo Health, got its first medical marijuana certification last January, from the Orthodox Union, America's most prominent Jewish groups. Vireo is in the process of selling medical marijuana products like cannabis oil and tinctures that are kosher. Cresco Labs, Illinois, is another company that is in the process of getting their products certified kosher, from a local rabbinical organization. According to the executive VP of operations at Cresco Labs, David Ellis, they had to show every inch of their facility to the rabbis.
According to Ari Hoffnung, the CEO of Vireo, medical marijuana is a multibillion-dollar market. The industry still faces a number of challenges, like the federal government still considering marijuana an illegal drug and majority of the banks refusing to work with the industry. However, the coming years would only see the industry becoming a major player in the market.
Vireo considers kosher certification an important factor and spends thousands of dollars on it.
According to the representatives of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and the Orthodox Union, they would only certify medical marijuana products and not any products intended for the recreational market.