Kosher-certified marijuana is now a thing – but before you have the chutzpah to bring weed-laced Hamentaschen to your grandma’s Purim celebration, take heed: It’s currently only available to those with a medical need.
According to a report in the Jerusalem Post , Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union’s kashrut department, said in a statement that the new medical cannabis products from Vireo Health “were developed to alleviate pain and suffering in accordance with the New York State Compassionate Care Act.” The statement adds, “Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as a ‘chet,’ a sinful act, but rather as a mitzvah, an imperative, a commandment.”
The kosher certification came after O.U. representatives visited Vireo facilities to ensure the plants were being grown and processed to kosher standards, which includes being insect-free.
“Being certified kosher by the Orthodox Union is helping us not only to serve the dietary needs of the largest Jewish community in the United States, but also to combat unfortunate stigmas associated with medical cannabis,” said Ari Hoffnung, Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health of New York. “Our hope is that the kosher certification of our cannabis-based medications sends an important message to New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds that using medical cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering does not in any way represent an embrace of ‘pot’ culture. Patients should never feel guilty or ashamed for using a product recommended by their physicians.”