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February 25, 2015 12:59 am

New York Rabbis Working With Colorado Company to Certify Kosher Marijuana

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

New York rabbis are working to certify marijuana as kosher. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

New York rabbis are working with a company from Colorado in an effort to sell legal and certified kosher medical marijuana, the New York Post reported on Tuesday.

Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the Orthodox Union’s kosher certification agency, said several weeks ago his group was approached by a company that has marijuana factories in Colorado. Company reps inquired about getting “kosher supervision” if they are approved to grow, manufacture and distribute medical marijuana in New York under the Compassionate Care Act, signed last year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Elefant said he has “no personal experience with marijuana” but was open-minded about the idea.

“We found it fascinating actually, and we believe there’s room for this in the world of kosher certification,” he said.

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Kosher certification is not needed for the plant itself but when it comes to edibles, such as food, drinks or capsules, Elefant explained, “the other ingredients are the issue.”

The Compassionate Care Act allows those with debilitating ailments to purchase medical marijuana but bans them from lighting it, the New York Post noted. Manufacturers must convert the drug into liquid or oil edibles, capsules or “any other form and route of administration approved by the [health] commissioner,” according to regulations proposed by the state Health Department. The act  also requires special permission to put pot into “edible food products,” but Elefant said the company from Colorado was confident it would get approval.

The medical marijuana is expected to go on sale in New York next year.

Medical marijuana is already legal in nearly half of the US and some states also allow recreational use of the drug. Both medical and recreational use of marijuana is allowed in Colorado.

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