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Medical Marijuana Products and Kosher Certification

 

Background:

 

Medical marijuana legalization is gaining momentum. Legalization of medical cannabis is not just hitting states like New York here in the US, but also in other countries including Israel and more.

 

As medical marijuana legalization spreads and proliferates areas with large Jewish populations, companies will be in need of the community's approval given compliance with the religious and dietary requirements. 

 

Many medical cannabis companies are already seeking out kosher certification for their products by a number of different kosher certification agencies. 

 

Orthodox Union:

 

When medical marijuana became legal in New York, Vireo Health was the first and only New York licensed medical marijuana products companies granted the stamp of approval by the Orthodox Union. In a statement regarding medical marijuana on their website, the OU said:

 

"The OU stands by its decision to certify medical marijuana products that offer significant value to alleviate the suffering resulting from serious and debilitating medical conditions. New York residents who are experiencing intense pain, can now use OU supervised Vireo Health medical marijuana and not be concerned that the product might contain non-kosher ingredients."

 

Perks to Kosher Certified Products:

 

Kosher certification is a great way to sell more medical marijuana products, as it opens it up to new potential customers. According to the OU: 

 

"There is clear evidence that a kosher symbol boosts market share, that a kosher product can win more favorable shelf space, and that when positioned next to a competing non-kosher brand, a kosher product will do better by 20%. This data has remained constant even in smaller cities, far from city with heavy concentrations of kosher Jews. (Source: Integrated Marketing Communications.) Getting kosher certification is an investment your company makes in order to increase market reach and share."

 

This is a trend first seen in New York, but it is likely to spread to other states like Colorado that have legalized medical marijuana. It is not likely that you will see this approval be extended to recreational marijuana products, as the OU's statement on medical marijuana states that "the OU supervision is limited to medical marijuana which is fundamentally different than recreational marijuana." While there are tons of other kosher certification agencies out there, OU is on nearly 70% of kosher products in the U.S. according to their website

 

Many Kosher Certification Agencies:

 

The Orthodox Union is not the only kosher certification agency out there. There are kosher certification agencies all over the United States, such as Scroll K in Denver, Colorado. For a complete list of kosher certification agencies accross the United States, see the database on the Chicago Rabinical Council's website. 

 

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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