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Michigan Cannabis Recall Partially Reversed After Lab Wins Claim

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Dec 07, 2021   

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Michigan Cannabis Recall Partially Reversed After Lab Wins Claim

A recall of cannabis products in Michigan has partly been reversed.

The recall initially came into effect on November 17, after the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) said that it had identified “inaccurate and/or unreliable results of products” tested at Viridis Laboratories, a cannabis lab company in Michigan.

But while under investigation by the MRA, Viridis began suing the state regulator, calling the recall “unjustified, prejudiced and retaliatory” in a 200-page complaint filed to the Michigan Court of Claims.

Viridis has now effectively won half of its claim against the MRA, ending half of the recall order.


Claims and cannabis

According to the Opinion and Order issued by the State of Michigan Court of Claims, the MRA was first alerted in November 2020 to a kind of cannabis potency method the team at Viridis were using. The state regulator reportedly received complaints regarding the matter and sought to prevent the Viridis team from carrying out this “Viridis method”.

On October 29, 2021, the MRA conducted investigations at both of Viridis’ labs, Viridis North, located in Bay City, MI, and Viridis Labs, located in Lansing, MI.

A recall notice was then issued on November 17, affecting all cannabis products – bar vape carts, live resin, distillates, and other concentrates intended for vaporizing – that had been tested by Viridis between August 10 and November 16, 2021.

Viridis then sued the MRA and the case came before Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray. Murray ruled that the regulatory agency had relied on cannabis samples and data from Viridis’ Lansing site, not its Bay City lab. Thus, Viridis’ Bay City operation should be exempt from the recall.

In a statement issued on December 3, the MRA said that it had received an order from the State of Michigan Court of Claims regarding the recall.

“Pursuant to the Court’s order, effective immediately, the recall ‘as it pertains to Viridis North, LLC’ has been enjoined. The MRA is required to comply with this order,” the statement reads.

“Therefore, the MRA will release the administrative holds on all products tested by Viridis North, LLC that were included in the recall. This includes any products that have been subsequently retested, regardless of whether those retesting results were passing or failing.”


Half free

As reported by the Detroit News, the Viridis team have welcomed the result.

“While we maintain that the entire recall was completely without merit, we applaud the Court for at least reversing the MRA’s faulty decision to recall products tested at Viridis Bay City,” Kevin Blair, an attorney with Honigman, said in a statement.

“This ill-advised recall has caused irreparable harm not only to Viridis but to growers, retailers and consumers throughout the state.”

According to the lab’s initial suit, the recall caused an estimated $229 million disruption to Michigan’s cannabis industry.

 

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