Is Cannabis Kosher?
Reviewed by Mayer Grashin, VP of Legal, General Counsel
For many people who adhere to the dietary standards set by Jewish law, it is important that anything one eats or drinks is kosher. But what about cannabis? In this guide, we’ll explain:
- What Does it Mean to “Keep Kosher”?
- Is Cannabis Considered Kosher?
- Do Edibles Need to Be Certified Kosher?
What Does it Mean to “Keep Kosher”?
Kosher is a Hebrew word that literally means “fit” or “appropriate.” When speaking of keeping kosher, we are referring to only eating foods that meet dietary guidelines found in the Torah and Jewish religious law. These laws and traditions are referred to as the rules of Kashrut. For example, you may be familiar with the tradition of Jews abstaining from eating pork products. This is because a pig is a non-kosher animal, and cannot be eaten by those who adhere to Kashrut.
In addition, even if all the ingredients of a certain product are Kosher, Kashrut laws forbid the mixing of meat and milk products together. Thus, all Kosher-supervised products must indicate whether the product has any meat or dairy ingredients. If the ingredients are not considered meat or dairy-based (such as plants), the product is designated as “Pareve.”
As we will discuss later, a Kashrut agency will do an in-depth review of a product’s ingredients and the production process, and will certify a product as Kosher and designate whether it is meat, dairy, or Pareve. The Pareve designation is helpful for people who are on a vegetarian diet or simply avoiding dairy, because it means the Kashurt agency has certified the product as meat- or dairy-free.
So how do plant-based Kashrut rules apply to cannabis?
Is Cannabis Kosher?
Cannabis flower as a plant product is not something that would typically require kosher certification. Where it becomes a little bit trickier, and where kosher certification may be desirable for a kosher consumer, is when additional elements are added to the cannabis product. For example, vape cartridges should contain all kosher oils to be considered kosher. Additionally, any form of sublingual or tincture must be created using only kosher ingredients.
Due to the many details to consider in this process, kosher consumers will likely only consume cannabis products (other than marijuana flower) that have been certified kosher by a reliable kosher agency.
Do Ingestible Forms of Cannabis Have To Be Certified Kosher?
For the reasons mentioned above, in order to be considered kosher, products like chewable gels or gummies should receive kosher certification. Especially since gummies and ingestible gels are often made with gelatin, which many kosher consumers consider to be unkosher. In order to ensure compliance with all the rules of Kashrut, many individuals who keep kosher will only consume products that have been certified kosher.
“The process to certify our matter. sour chewable gels as Kosher in New York was rigorous and thorough,” said Mayer Grashin, vice president of legal at PharmaCann. “We worked with the Kof-K, a leading international kosher supervisory organisation, to examine everything from cultivation and extraction to production and packaging. The Rabbis involved in the process examined the entire process to ensure that there was no exposure to non-kosher ingredients, and will provide continuous supervision.”
Once launched, all flavors of matter. Spots in New York will be certified kosher and Pareve for medical use. To ensure the products continue to meet kosher standards, PharmaCann production facilities in New York will undergo random inspections.
If you’re curious about kosher-certified cannabis products for medical use near you, visit one of our New York dispensaries.
About Mayer Grashin
Mayer Grashin is the vice president of legal at PharmaCann, Inc. where he leads the cannabis company’s national team of legal professionals. Grashin began his career as a litigator at two international law firms, and spent several years at a leading automotive tech company. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the normalization and destigmatization of cannabis, and is proud to play his small part in that movement. Grashin earned his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and currently resides in Chicago with his wife and children.
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Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.