Some New Yorkers will soon be able to partake in medical marijuana without having to worry about it clashing with their religious beliefs. According to Newsweek, The Orthodox Union, one of America’s oldest orthodox Jewish organizations, has certified all medical marijuana products made by Vireo Health of New York as kosher.
In order to qualify as kosher, products must be prepared in very specific ways and every tool used in the process must meet its own set of standards and procedures.
In the past, unhealthy products such as cigarettes have been refused a kosher certification, so to have a marijuana product earn a kosher certification represents the growing acceptance of medical marijuana.
“Being certified kosher by the OU will not only help us serve the dietary needs of the largest Jewish community in the United States, but also combat unfortunate stigmas associated with medical cannabis,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo.
“We are delighted to have Vireo’s medical cannabis products join nearly one million other products worldwide that we certify as kosher,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of OU Kosher, in a press release. “In a life or death situation, Jewish law clearly sets aside the kosher status of a medicine, but in other cases, it is preferable and sometimes recommended that a medicine be certified kosher. We commend Vireo Health of New York for taking this step and making this commitment to the Jewish community.”
OU’s rabbinic field representatives inspected Vireo’s medical cannabis cultivation and lab facilities in Fulton County, New York, to verify that the facilities were in compliance with OU Kosher standards and policies.