Medical Marijuana Now Kosher Approved
When marijuana was medical marijuana was legalized, five companies were given the license by New York State Health Department to grow and market marijuana in New York and in their state. One of these companies was a Minneapolis-based Vireo Health that produces "pharmaceutical-grade cannabis-derived medicine."
The company on Wednesday announced that their products will now receive certification from the Orthodox Union for being Kosher. Vireo's marijuana products, to be used by patients suffering from serious illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, cancer among other diseases, are the first ones to come with an "OU" certificate attached with it. In Vireo's announcement, the CEO of OU Kosher, Rabbi Menachem Genack, said: "Judaism prioritizes health and encourages the use of medicine designed to improve one's health or reduce pain. 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," Tablet Mag Reports.
As the company prepares to sell the medical marijuana, it follows two sets of regulations for the sale of its products next month, a state law passed only 18-months ago and an even older edict of Torah. OU certification is a big deal for Vireo as it is one of the most eminent caretakers of what is kosher and what isn't. The trademark OU symbol of the group will be seen on Vireo's vaporization cartridges, capsules and oils, as reported by NBC News.
Even though the state does not include any rules that makes special considerations for religious customs, the kosher certification relevance will be seen with time. It is also unclear how many patients who may use the medical marijuana, keeping in mind that the state program is not very liberal in prescribing the treatment to everyone, want to keep it kosher, as reported by Times Union.