For those who keep kosher, most medical marijuana products on the market do not comply with the strict standards, leaving a large portion of the population under-served when it comes to weed. This gap in the market has created an opportunity, which companies like The Hydropothecary Corporation (TSXV:THCX) (OTC:HYYDF) are capitalizing on.
Kosher Consumers: A Massive Market Opportunity
While the market for such products may not seem so large, it is. According to Lubicom Consuting, there's 12.35 million kosher consumers in the United States alone. As medical marijuana legalization spreads across areas with large Jewish populations, companies seeking to market kosher-certified cannabis need to comply with the strict requirements set fourth.
While Vireo Health has kosher New Yorkers covered, The Hydropothecary Corp. has kosher Canadians on lock. As a licensed producer of medical marijuana under Health Canada's ACMPR, Hydropothecary is one of a small group of companies that can sell cannabis to patients throughout Canada.
The population statistics above show that the move by Hydropothecary to obtain kosher certification could pan out to be extremely lucrative. Vaad HaKashrut director, Rabbi Levy Teitlebaum commented that "this is a rigorous, independent, third-party certification process that goes from A to Z. Hydropothecary's products not only qualify, but certification is gladly given because it's important for what's needed in this new sector."
The kosher certification covers Hydropothecary's "Decarb", the ready-to-consume activated marijuana powder product line, "Elixir" cannabis peppermint oil as well as the company's "H2" line of milled products.
"Kosher certification is important to Hydropothecary because it reflects our emphasis on rigorous testing, independent third-party oversight and our focus on easy-to-use product innovations. As the only medical marijuana company in Canada with current kosher-certified processed products, we take great pride in having the support of the Council for Kashrut," said Hydropothecary CEO and co-founder, Sebastien St-Louis.
Kosher Products Perform Better
If kosher food sales data are any indicator of kosher cannabis sales, this means big business for Hydropothecary and others who join them to serve this community. According to the Orthodox Union, "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."
What About Recreational Marijuana?
When asked about the kosher certification's applicability to recreational cannabis once it becomes legal in Canada, Rabbi Teitlebaum commented that "Medical products required for health and wellbeing are eligible for kosher certification. With legalization of marijuana for recreational use, however, we will have to consider the ethics of using a product simply for enjoyment."