Medical marijuana may soon be available to Orthodox Jews in New York State. The Orthodox Union, which provides kosher certification, is in discussion with companies offering kosher medical marijuana products, reports the Jewish Daily Forward.
Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the Union's kosher certification agency, which has blocked the certification of e-cigarettes and tobacco products, said the agency "would not have a problem certifying" medical marijuana.
The medical use of marijuana is now legal in approximately half of the states in the US, with Alaska also following Colorado and Washington in legalising the drug for recreational use.
Ean Seeb, the Jewish owner of one of the oldest marijuana dispensaries in Denver, Colorado, told the newspaper: "We have shown here in Colorado that you can effectuate social change without the world crashing down on you."
Though most orthodox rabbis have accepted the medical use of marijuana, most still oppose its recreational use.
In Israel, more than 11,000 people are licensed to receive kosher certified medical marijuana, which has been shown to alleviate pain, anxiety, appetite loss and nausea in patients suffering diseases including HIV, Aids, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
As a plant, the certification will not be required for the marijuana itself, but for products made from it, such as capsules or edible goods.
Medical marijuana products are expected to go on sale in New York State in 2015.