Brooklyn, NY – Chassidic-Owned Medical Marijuana Company Says Its Products Will Be Glatt Kosher

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    File photo of Holocaust survivor Moshe Roth, 81, receiving medical marijuana by a nurse to smoke in his pipe.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN‎Brooklyn, NY –  New York Growing Partners, a company vying for one of five New York State medical marijuana licenses, is billing itself as a glatt kosher company in its bid to earn one of the coveted licenses, according to a follow-up report in The Jewish Week (http://bit.ly/1Kg58aL). A total of 43 companies have submitted an application.

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    As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/1NjHUQc), the company’s principals include Michael Melnicke, a Ger chasid and nursing home entrepreneur, and Satmar chasid Leo Friedman.

    Melnicke and Friedman have teamed up with Alexander Solovey and Pat (Pasquale) DeBenedictis for this venture, both of whom own several nursing home enterprises.

    The mayor of Schenectady wrote a letter in support of the company’s license application to the state health department, saying, “New York has the largest Jewish population of any state in the U.S., and a large percentage of that population observes kosher customs. By aligning its manufacturing/production processes with Kashrut . . ., the company is “ensuring that all New Yorkers who could benefit from pain-management qualities of medical marijuana have access without having to go against the tenets of their religion.”

    Zimmerman/Edelson, the PR firm retained by New York Growing Partners, requested additional letters of support from the County Executive of Ulster County where the company plans to set up its production facilities. Also solicited was the Saugerties town supervisor, where the company plans to use 12 acres of “shovel ready” land for their business.

    New York’s medical marijuana law only permits marijuana to be dispensed in a non-smokable form, including vapors, pills, and oils. It cannot be placed into “edible food products” without express permission from the state health commissioner.

    A halachic authority on medical ethics and professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University’s REITS program, Rabbi J. David Bleich said that medication in a pill form does not need kosher supervision, though liquids and capsules can present kashrut issues.

    He said unless marijuana has in some way been “adulterated,” it does not require kosher certification in its vapor or oil forms. “Once marijuana is in a cookie,” however, “it is not different from any other cookie and a cookie needs certification,” Rabbi Bleich added. He also noted that any “medicine ought to be presented in kosher form, if possible, and I don’t know why medical marijuana can’t be since the basic ingredient is ‘glatt kosher.’”

    Rabbi Moshe Elefant, who heads up the Orthodox Union’s kosher certification division, has said publicly that his agency is considering certifying medical marijuana.


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    19 Comments
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    DrGee
    DrGee
    9 years ago

    What kashrus issues are involved with medical marijuana? Is it not like other medicines like insulin or antibiotics which do not require a hechsher?

    yonasonw
    Member
    yonasonw
    9 years ago

    They already get commitment from Hisachdes H’Rabunim (CRC) to get their hashguca.

    Voice-of-Reason
    Voice-of-Reason
    9 years ago

    Why does it need a hechsher? Do cigarette need a hechsher?

    shrags
    shrags
    9 years ago

    To #1 :
    It might not be different. In all cases of medicine its always better to get one with a kosher certification if possible. To use one without we rely on some heterim so its always better to avoid them if one can.

    yochy
    yochy
    9 years ago

    I would certainly not want to trust the OU or OK before smoking this. I need to know that this is from a very serious hechsher . Please update with the details. Perhaps we can do a private run under a more reliable one if this is not the case.

    yaakov doe
    Member
    yaakov doe
    9 years ago

    Will be the only glatt kosher plant product available. Will it have a Pesach hashgocha too?

    Sociologist
    Sociologist
    9 years ago

    I would like to meet the person who will be performing nikud on the plants so they qualify to be glatt.

    leahle
    leahle
    9 years ago

    I guess I fell asleep in college the day we learned about plants having livers.

    David_W
    David_W
    9 years ago

    I am assuming they will be making the finest Kosher Kush

    9 years ago

    They will need to follow strict government rules and regulations. I hope they don’t create a chillul hashem.

    ExpatriateOwl
    ExpatriateOwl
    9 years ago

    Glatt kosher? Does that mean that my lungs will not get adhesions when I smoke the stuff?

    9 years ago

    I sincerely hope the people issuing the license see through this sheker. Its all about billing insurance companies. I wouldn’t mind any jew to be involved in these businesses practices to make money but once you want to kasher it using our torah and it’s laws is shameful.

    9 years ago

    “GLATT” kosher medical marijuana?

    1) First of all, it’s a plant so it doesn’t need hashgocha
    2) It’s medication, so it doesn’t need hashgocha
    3) a “Gerrer Chossid” came up with this? Seriously? and he calls this “Glatt” kosher? his parents should get a refund from his yeshiva. next there will be glatt kosher milk? Glatt kosher water? Glatt kosher chocolate bars or potato chips? Does this Frum Yid even know that “Glatt” only refers to meat products?