New York smokes Colorado by pioneering kosher marijuana

Colorado could have been the birthplace of kosher marijuana. But when it comes to meeting the needs of observant Jews, our square state is lacking.


Let’s hang our heads a mile low: New York beat Colorado pioneering kosher medical marijuana.

According to The New York Daily News, Vireo Health, one of five companies licensed to grow medicinal marijuana in New York state, got the blessing of the Orthodox Union to certify its products with the “OU” stamp.

Though Colorado has been a hotspot of innovation in the marijuana industry, it’s hardly a surprise that New York smoked us on this one. Our square state is less than an ideal place to live for observant Jews — at least, those who like eating out.

Denver, the state’s biggest city, has just two kosher restaurants: the East Side Kosher Deli — which is praised for its fajitas and deli sandwiches — and Brooklyn Pizza. But those who follow Jewish dietary law long for a few more options. There are a handful of grocery stores and a caterer geared toward observant Jews. But the fact is, this is no New York City, Los Angeles or Philly.

Let’s face it. It’s a struggle to find a good bagel in the mountain time zone — kosher or not.

So, maybe it’s mile-high time all these incoming coastal entrepreneurs driving up rent and pushing out locals light up a bong, crack open a bottle of craft brew, and figure out how to make Colorado as kosher friendly as it is cannabis friendly.

To our friends in the Empire State: “Mazel tov” for using your noodles and beating us to the punch.


Correction Dec. 31, 2015: The story initially stated that Denver has only one kosher restaurant. There are two: the Eastside Kosher Deli and Brooklyn Pizza.

Photo credit: Karen, Creative Commons, Flickr.


  1. How about you explain what the heck kosher Marijuana means? I am not sure I’ve ever had non kosher Marijuana but I think of kosher as not pairing or using certain foods and nor necessarily aneeding everything to be labeled kosher.

  2. There is a third kosher restaurant, the Bagel Deli on Monaco at Hampden. And I would like to know what makes marijuana in any form non-kosher.

Comments are closed.