Various kosher symbols (Google)

N.Y. rabbis are open to certifying marijuana-infused edibles as kosher

Today’s lead of the day in the New York Post goes a little something like this: “The burning bush is about to be joined by the burning kush.”

Well done, Bruce Golding. As much as we hate pot puns and weed wordplays at The Cannabist, we give that one an A+.

And now the news that lead was referring to: At least one company in Colorado is in discussions with rabbis in New York to eventually sell pot-infused edibles that are certified kosher, the New York Post reported this morning. It wouldn’t be the actual marijuana that would require kosher certification, according to Ean Seeb, who owns Colorado pot shop Denver Relief.

“The cannabis itself, there’s no debate as to whether it’s kosher,” Seeb told The Cannabist on Tuesday. “It’s a leaf, just like fruits and vegetables. It’s everything else that goes into the edibles that determines it being kosher. What were the ingredients? Was it made in a kosher kitchen? Were their processes used to make it up to kosher standards?”

From the New York Post’s report:

The pot concoctions would give new meaning to the “high holidays” if they are made available to New York Jews under a state law allowing medical marijuana. The program should be in effect next year.

“They know there are patients who are Jewish and follow the kosher dietary laws,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant of the Orthodox Union, which runs a kosher certification program.

His group was approached several weeks ago by a firm with several marijuana factories in Colorado, where even recreational cannabis is legal.

Elefant wouldn’t identify the pot peddlers or specifically say what kind of food the divine doobage would be placed in. But he said company reps flew to New York to discuss getting “kosher supervision” if they’re selected to grow, manufacture and distribute state-approved medical marijuana under the Compassionate Care Act signed last year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Elefant said he has “no personal experience with marijuana,” but was receptive to the presentation.

Denver Relief’s Seeb said kosher-certified edibles would make more sense in New York or Los Angeles than Denver.

“If it was just a Colorado company (looking to certify its edibles as kosher), it would be more about hype than anything else,” Seeb said. “There is likely a small number of Orthodox Jews in Colorado who are consuming cannabis recreationally or medically and are looking for a kosher edible. But given the state of the industry in general with cannabis in Colorado, all these companies are expanding and putting licensing together for other states, so this is foresight for a bigger market share in general.

“In New York, they’re in the process of making their regulations, and we know they won’t allow smokable cannabis. We know they will allow edible cannabis. There are as many Jews living in New York as there are in Israel, so it makes sense for a place like New York or Los Angeles.”

In New York, Rabbi Elefant seems like he’s looking forward to these kinds of opportunities once the state’s medical cannabis system gets up and running.

“We found it fascinating actually,” Elefant told the New York Post, “and we believe there’s room for this in the world of kosher certification.”