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

Published on: June 26, 2015 02:01 PM
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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 SULTANFile photo of Holocaust survivor Moshe Roth, 81, receiving medical marijuana by a nurse to smoke in his pipe.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN

‎Brooklyn, 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.

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.”

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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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Read Comments (19)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 26, 2015 at 02:40 PM DrGee Says:

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

2

 Jun 26, 2015 at 02:44 PM Rabbi Says:

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

3

 Jun 26, 2015 at 04:03 PM Voice-of-Reason Says:

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

4

 Jun 26, 2015 at 04:06 PM shrags Says:

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.

5

 Jun 26, 2015 at 04:10 PM yochy Says:

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.

6

 Jun 26, 2015 at 05:05 PM Sociologist Says:

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

7

 Jun 26, 2015 at 05:04 PM yaakov doe Says:

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

8

 Jun 26, 2015 at 05:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
yochy Says:

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.

The OU and OK aren't serious hechshers?

9

 Jun 26, 2015 at 05:23 PM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #7  
yaakov doe Says:

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

Obviously, they will be בודק the ראיות (lungs) of the plants for סירחות (blebs) since we're talking about גלאט. I hope they're better botanists than משגיחים.

10

 Jun 26, 2015 at 06:06 PM Anonymous Says:

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

11

 Jun 26, 2015 at 06:13 PM David_W Says:

I am assuming they will be making the finest Kosher Kush

12

 Jun 26, 2015 at 06:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
yochy Says:

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.

I trust the OU or OK far more than the hechsherim to which you are referring. I have never heard of the OU or the OK selling mamesh treif, unlike other so-called "very serious" hechsherim.

13

 Jun 26, 2015 at 06:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

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

This is what happens when I am rushing around the house preparing for Shabbos and have NOT drunk enough coffee. LUNGS not Liver!!!

14

 Jun 26, 2015 at 10:42 PM Anonymous Says:

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

15

 Jun 27, 2015 at 02:31 PM BarryLS1 Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

The OU and OK aren't serious hechshers?

It's politics and money rearing its ugly head again. As if the hechsherim these guys use are absolute. The OK is probably the best hashgocho in the U.S.

I'd love for this company to explain how a plant become "Glatt kosher?"

16

 Jun 27, 2015 at 04:39 PM ExpatriateOwl Says:

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

17

 Jun 27, 2015 at 10:35 PM yochy Says:

Reply to #15  
BarryLS1 Says:

It's politics and money rearing its ugly head again. As if the hechsherim these guys use are absolute. The OK is probably the best hashgocho in the U.S.

I'd love for this company to explain how a plant become "Glatt kosher?"

I agree - I wasn't being serious if you know what I mean

18

 Jun 28, 2015 at 01:46 AM Anonymous Says:

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.

19

 Jun 28, 2015 at 08:31 PM Seriously? I mean, seriously? Says:

"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?

20

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