Orthodox Jews Aim for Kosher Certification of Medical Marijuana Edibles in NY
So far, 23 states have passed some form of medical marijuana legislation, and many dispensaries in those states offer non-smoking versions of marijuana, including edibles like brownies, cookies, and chocolate bars. Now, several companies who make medical marijuana edibles are planning to work with Orthodox Jewish religious leaders to make sure their products meet kosher standards.
Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the Orthodox Union’s kosher certification agency, said in an interview that he was in “preliminary discussions” with one company to help their medical marijuana edibles meet kosher standards. Normally, because marijuana is a plant, the drug does not require special rabbinical approval to eat, as plants are considered “pareve,” or neutral. However, medical marijuana edibles are often in the form of baked goods or dairy products, and food items like milk, cheese, butter, and eggs need special preparations to be considered kosher.
“Orthodox rabbis appear to have accepted the medical benefits of cannabis, they remain much more cautious about recreational marijuana. Most Orthodox rabbis say it’s strictly prohibited,” the Jewish Daily Forward reported on the kosher medical marijuana.
“[It is] a perfectly acceptable use of a plant that grows in God’s garden,” said Rabbi J. David Bleich of Yeshiva University, but recreational use is “pleasure for pleasure’s sake” and “certainly not that to which a Jew should aspire.”
Meanwhile, South Carolina Struggles to Define Medical Marijuana Use
In June 2014, Governor Nikki Haley signed a very limited medical marijuana bill into law. The bill allows patients with some extreme disorders, like chronic epilepsy, to use CBD oil, which is made from an extract called cannabidiol. CBD is one of two major compounds found in marijuana, the other being THC. While THC is the molecule that creates the “high” or “euphoric” sensation from ingesting most recreational marijuana, CBD is associated with health benefits such as stress relief and easing chronic pain.
Sen. Tom Davis has championed medical marijuana legislation for years, and says he will file three more bills for consideration after the beginning of 2015. One bill proposes legalizing the ability of South Carolina farmers to grow medical marijuana that is specifically higher in CBD. Another bill will clean up the language in the state’s current hemp law.
Davis’s bills will allow South Carolina to set up legal marijuana growing operations specifically for medicinal purposes, and set up responsibilities for oversight with state agencies. DHEC would test the marijuana for THC and CBD content, while the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will ensure that medical marijuana growers are not also growing for recreational purposes.
So far, the proposed legislation has not gone to the House or the Senate for a vote.
If You Face Marijuana Charges, Including for Medical Marijuana Use Charges, The Strom Law Firm Can Help
Although many states have passed medical marijuana legislation, South Carolina still has not legalized the use of marijuana for recreational or medical reasons. You could be charged with drug possession. If you or a loved one have been found with medical marijuana, you could face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony, depending on how much marijuana was on your person, and what your intent was with the drug. The drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Do not let drug charges for medical marijuana hurt your reputation or your future aspirations. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800