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Company Claims To Offer The ‘First Kosher Certified Medical Marijuana’


Israel medical Marijuana prescriptionsI am not Jewish, but I have quite a few friends that are. I always like learning more about Jewish culture and traditions. Admittedly, there is a ton more that I need to learn. I’m semi-familiar with kosher requirements, but again, there’s a lot I don’t know. Recently a company announced that it is the first to certify its medical marijuana products as kosher. Per NBC News:

A New York company says it will soon offer the first certified kosher medical pot.

Vireo Health says its non-smokable medical cannabis products have been certified as conforming to the Jewish dietary law by the Orthodox Union.

Vireo says it’s the first time a medical cannabis product has been deemed kosher.

The announcement of the certification resulted in some instant criticism on social media. My friend Claire had the best tweet I think:

What do TWB readers think about the announcement? Does the certification matter? Is it just a marketing ploy, or is it a vital certification? Again, I don’t know a lot about this topic, but I’m definitely interested to learn more. I look forward to reading your comments.


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Johnny Green


  1. Closet Warrior on

    I am friends with a few Jews and they could care less if their trees were grown in a dumpster watered w/Angel tears as long as they got high but respectfully, it is a great idea for edibles.

  2. saynotohypocrisy on

    This is what Mechoulam said in 2013 about the possibility of using cannabis as therapy against cancer, it is very much in accord with what you are saying.

    “There are many reports on the treatment of various cancers in mice; unfortunately, well-designed human trials have not been done. It is unbelievable that neither government agencies nor private foundations have gone ahead or encouraged clinical trials – but this is a fact! There are no real published clinical trials with cannabinoids against any cancer!”

    See more at: http://www.thedailybell.com/exclusive-interviews/35732/Anthony-Wile-Dr-Raphael-Mechoulam-The-Promise-of-Cannabis/#sthash.itgHP1cj.dpuf

  3. Lawrence Goodwin on

    For many years, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam’s team of researchers in Israel actually received a large chunk of funding for their amazing cannabinoid research from the National Institutes of Health in the United States. That’s why I call our current “marihuana” laws a total fraud. The feds have always known that cannabis has enormous medical value. It’s the whole reason cannabis plants are still banned by federal law, and hunted down by law enforcement nationwide as if the plants themselves were “terrorists.” This relentless federal, state and local anti-marijuana fascism is most definitely not kosher.

  4. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Good question.
    At least a few Israeli religious leaders agree,
    according to what David Yoseph Schreiber has written in his posting.

    Overall, from what I know and have heard,
    Israel has conducted far more official research of the medical
    potential and uses of cannabis than the U.S. ever has,
    and has researched the issue of determining its kosher status as well.

  5. saynotohypocrisy on

    But does the religious establishment in Israel agree? If they do consider it food, then the issue of kosher status must have come up in Israel before this.

  6. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    Kosher certification is significant.

    The Vireo announcement relates to the imminent opening of cannabis health dispensaries in New York State including New York City in which there is a very large population of orthodox Jews. According to High Times , “Vireo Health says its non-smokable medical cannabis products have been certified as conforming to the Jewish dietary law by the Orthodox Union”. It would seem it is talking about edibles like brownies.

    Medicines to save a life or cure debilitating maladies are exempt from the laws on forbidden foods. However there is considerable discussion when it is uncertain whether a particular substance would be helpful. If there is a strong doubt that an unkosher substance is effective, it would not be permitted. In any case all plants are kosher.

    Plants do require religious supervision to insure that they are not insect infested. In addition accompanying ingredients in edibles may not be kosher. For example lard could not be used but vegetable oils would be fine. For these reasons supervision is desirable. Smoking insect infested cannabis would also not be appropriate.

    Orthodox Jews typically are not informed about cannabis. Because no cannabis treatment has been accepted by the Food and Drug Administration, many would not use it. Even though the O-U (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America) is not taking a position as to the medical effectiveness of cannabis, it’s certification subtly makes a person with a malady, that it may help, more likely to give it a try.

    This in fact would be the second major orthodox figure to encourage those in need to try cannabis. The first would be Knesset member Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, head of the ultra-orthodox Agudat Yisrael Party. As minister of health in the current government, he has acted to significantly expand the medical use of cannabis in Israel. Link for further information http://www.timesofisrael.com/health-ministers-medical-marijuana-plan-gets-underway/

    Israel has been active in the world of cannabis. Here are some informative links:

    Identification of THC by Raphael Mechoulam – YouTube video

    Tikun Olam – the first, largest and foremost supplier of medical Cannabis in Israel and the flag bearer for the medical use of Cannabis (English)

    Website for Cannabis, Israeli online magazine ( Hebrew, but Google translate helps)

  7. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Their Sacred Writings DO consider it food,
    as per Genesis 1:11-12 and Genesis 1:29-30.

  8. saynotohypocrisy on

    I haven’t heard of this coming up in Israel. If it hasn’t been an issue there, maybe it’s because they don’t consider medical marijuana food?

  9. The Israeli’s say it best —
    Marijuana is a “Gift from God” — “Tikkun Olam” — “To Heal The World”

  10. As an Israeli, this is awesome news, because now the religious community here (which carries a huge vote) can’t say shit when it comes to legalization time. Thanks American Jews!

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