Published On: Wed, Feb 25th, 2015

Colorado Marijuana Company Approaches New York Rabbis about Kosher Weed

"Other ingredients" make it necessary for pot to have a kosher certification

Discovery Channel

A Colorado company wants rabbis in New York to give kosher certifications for their marijuana products, according to the New York Post.

Rabbi Moshe Elefant of the Orthodox Union told the Post, “They know there are patients that are Jewish and follow kosher dietary laws.” Although Rabbi Elefant said “patients, ” in Colorado, not just medical marijuana, but recreational pot, is also legal.

Under the Compassionate Care Act in New York, marijuana may be used if  a patient has a prescription and if the pot is converted to an oil or is administrated in capsule form. The rabbis emphasize the medical aspect of the certification, and compare it to giving a stamp of approval to vitamins, because marijuana, unlike cigarettes, which they will not certify, has potential health benefits.

Rabbi Avi Berman told YNet, “Just as the OU gives out kosher certificates for vitamins or for any other medical product, it is possible in principle to issue kosher certificates for cannabis, as long as it is solely for medical purposes and in countries where it is permitted by law.”

The million dollar question isn’t whether rabbis would deem marijuana kosher, but why would it be necessary to get kosher certification to begin with, since it is a plant, and as long as it is not grown in Israel, is not subject to agricultural laws. “The other ingredients are the issue, ” said Rabbi Elefant. For instance, the Doritos that go with the marijuana to treat the side effect of munchies would definitely need kosher certification. To answer a question the late Jimi Hendrix might pose as to the source of Rabbi Elefant’s expertise about the plant, the rabbi said, “I have no personal experience with marijuana.”

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