The world’s largest kosher certifying agency announced it “would not have a problem” putting its seal on marijuana edibles that serve as medicine, says the Orthodox Union’s Rabbi Moshe Elefant, and the agency is already ready to prove it: The group’s certification arm is in “preliminary discussions” with several unnamed manufacturers in Colorado that want New York’s approval to manufacture them under the medical-marijuana law Governor Andrew Cuomo signed last year. Apparently seeing the Jewish community as an untapped base, the companies approached the Orthodox Union. In the past, the agency has refused to put its kosher seal on cigarettes because they have no medical benefit, but Elefant, who oversees certification, believes “there’s room” for medical marijuana products. (Because it’s a plant, marijuana itself doesn’t need certification.)
New York’s medical-marijuana law, called the Compassionate Care Act, allows use of cannabis but bans smoking altogether, so edibles are poised to fill a large portion of that void. And an Orthodox Union seal would mean kosher edibles for people outside the Empire State. But it isn’t a done deal: Right now, the proposed regulations require a special license for the edibles, and the Orthodox Union hasn’t definitely said anything is getting the kosher seal just yet, only that they’re “a perfectly acceptable use of a plant that grows in God’s garden.” Plus, there’s plenty of time still for legislators in Albany to mess something up before medical marijuana goes on sale next year statewide.