News and Special Updates

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by Aaron Smith
L’Chaim to Chanukah: How Cannabis Can Be Kosher

Chanukah commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days in the Holy Temple. It was thought to be a miracle because there was only enough oil to burn for one day. That oil is a focal point of Chanukah may explain why so many people infuse cannabis into this 8-day celebration. Some even joke that Chanukah has become an unofficial "high holiday." (Recall the "menorah bong" that became an internet sensation a couple of years ago.) Given the popularity of fusing Chanukah with cannabis, many people wonder if (and how) cannabis products can be kosher. To address this issue, let's start with a little background. As both patients and physicians, Jews have long had an intimate connection to health and healing. While many religions historically have viewed medical treatment as heresy, Judaism has largely viewed medical treatment not just positively, but as an obligation. The most revered Jewish philosopher, Maimonides (Rambam), argued medical care is part of one’s duty to heal (based on Deuteronomy 22:2: “and you shall return it [whatever was lost] to him”). Maimonides argues that this verse connotes a Biblical commandment that every person—according to their ability—restore the health of their fellow man (or self). We must, in fact, aggressively restore one’s health through whatever reasonable means (including medical treatments).   In other words, if cannabis is used for healing, rather than recreational purposes, there is no conflict whatsoever between medical cannabis and Jewish law. Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as an averah עבירה, a transgression, but rather as a mitzvah, which literally means a “commandment.” That’s why it is not surprising that the Orthodox Union has certified all of Vireo’s medical cannabis products kosher. In doing so, they were not adopting Jewish law for the modern era, but rather adhering to a long-held belief of the importance of healing. Not only is cannabis a powerful medicine with a track record of efficacy stretching back before recorded history, it’s an objectively safe and natural treatment for a wide and growing list of chronic conditions and diseases. But kosher usually refers to food, right? So how can cannabis be certified as kosher? First, let’s define what kosher actually means, as most people—Jews included—don’t fully understand what constitutes kosher. What does kosher mean? Some believe kosher refers to the prohibition of cruelty towards animals in producing a food. Others believe it...

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Opioids vs. Medical Cannabis — Which Is Better For Chronic Pain?

With his recent announcement that opioid abuse amounted to a public health emergency, President Trump acknowledged a fact already sadly apparent to millions of Americans. In 2016, 64,000 people died...

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by Andrew Mangini
Vireo Kicks Off Holiday Season with NY’s First-Ever ‘Cyber Monday’ Sale of Medical Marijuana

$25 off online home delivery and in-store pickup orders NEW YORK, NY –  Today, Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”), one of only five companies licensed by New York State...

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by Andrew Mangini
Vireo Health to Participate in $3.8 million NIH Study on Medical Marijuana, Pain and Opioid Use

Federal Study to Enroll New York State Medical Marijuana Patients NEW YORK, NY – The National Institute of Health has awarded a $3.8 million research grant to Albert Einstein College of...

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by Andrew Mangini
Vireo Announces Free Medical Marijuana Home Delivery

Patients in New York City, Westchester and Long Island now have access to free home delivery service throughout summer New York, NY – Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”), one of only...

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