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Vireo Health, one of the five state-licensed companies gearing up to be one of New York’s first legal medical marijuana dispensaries, announced that they are the first company in the world to produce cannabis products which have been certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU).

While medical marijuana law in the Empire State does not allow for dried cannabis flowers to be sold in dispensaries, Vireo Health will process plants into forms that can be vaporized and ingested like concentrates and tinctures.

The OU, a self-described “most recognized and trusted kosher certification,” made clear that its certification was carried out because of the positive impacts of cannabis on public health.

“Judaism prioritizes health and encourages the use of medicine designed to improve one’s health or reduce pain,”

said Rabbi Menachem Genack, OU Kosher’s CEO, in Vireo’s announcement.

“Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as a chet, a sinful act, but rather as a mitzvah, an imperative, a commandment.”

Vireo Health is one of five companies thus far to win the right to grow and distribute medical marijuana in the state. It plans to operate four in-state dispensaries –in Albany, Queens, White Plains, and Binghamton– which are all set to open their doors sometime this month.

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