The Rabbis Are Here to Inspect the (Legal) Weed
Published on May 10, 2016
The ever expanding cannabis industry has sparked much creativity to reach the largest group of consumers possible, but what's next... Kosher Marijuana?? A New York group called Vireo Health has started promoting their new kosher marijuana after earning their kosher certification in January, but kosher marijuana was not as easy as you might think. Kosher refers to food and drink that has not come in contact with forbidden foods. While smoked marijuana does not apply to the kosher rules, any oils or tinctures to be injested must avoid all pig and insect contamination to be considered kosher. Pill capsules can't contain pig-gelatin, and the plant must survive flowering without insects, which can be difficult. You can make sure your Vireo medical marijuana product is kosher by the "OU" stamp, meaning it passed inspection by the Orthodox Union.
“You’re seeing companies looking for creative ways to distinguish themselves, but also just interesting ways to appeal to different types of consumers,” said Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Vireo, a subsidiary of Vireo Health, is one of at least two companies aiming to sell kosher medical marijuana products like tinctures or cannabis oil. The Orthodox Union, one of the United States’ most prominent Jewish groups, gave its first medical marijuana certification to Vireo in January. Another company, Cresco Labs in Illinois, is in the final stages of getting certified from a local rabbinical organization.
Ingredients must not come into contact with forbidden foods, like pigs or insects, and the restrictions extend all the way down the supply chain.