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Adrienne Roberts – Business reporter
Detroit Free Press
Published 2:57pm ET Nov. 18, 2021
What is likely the largest marijuana recall in Michigan’s history is currently underway after the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued a health and safety bulletin Wednesday evening for many products tested by Viridis Laboratories.
The agency said it has identified inaccurate and/or unreliable results of all marijuana products tested by Viridis Laboratories and Viridis North over a three-month period except for inhalable marijuana concentrate products such as vape carts, live resin and distillate.
The bulletin said products should be retested for the microbials compliance panel and consumers with weakened immune systems or lung disease are at the highest risk for health-related incidents such as aspergillosis, which is an infection caused by a common mold, suggesting there could be mold in the products.
Viridis representatives said they were working with officials to resolve the issues.
“While we strongly disagree with this decision and firmly stand by our test results, we are fully cooperating with the MRA and working closely with our customers to minimize interruptions and retest affected products at no cost,” Greg Michaud, the CEO of Viridis Laboratories, said in an emailed statement.
Viridis Laboratories has labs in Lansing and Bay City. Michaud said the company has been cleared to continue testing at both of its facilities.
While it’s not known exactly how many products are affected, the MRA released a 30-page document listing all the dispensaries around Michigan that are impacted by the recall.
Cannabis lawyers say they’re hearing that not only are several dispensaries affected, but the vast majority of the products they sell are, too, which could put some companies out of business.
Doug Mains, a partner at the Michigan law firm Honigman, said retailers have told him 65%-70% of their current inventory could be recalled. For some growers, all of their flower in the marketplace could be recalled, he said.
Lance Boldrey, the leader of Detroit-based Dykema’s cannabis law practice, said he’s heard from multiple sources that the amount of cannabis flower being recalled is about 64,000 pounds. To put that in perspective, he said, in October, 24,000 pounds of flower were sold in Michigan. He estimated this recall likely affects more than $200 million worth of marijuana product.
Stephen Linder, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, a lobbying group that represents growers and processors, said in an emailed statement that the recall “will be disruptive to the business operations of some of our members as well as the industry as a whole” but added that product recalls are sometimes a necessary function of a licensed, regulated market.
Consumers who have marijuana products in their possession that meet the recall criteria can return the products to the marijuana sales location where they were purchased so they can be properly disposed of, the agency said. The marijuana products impacted have a test date between Aug. 10, 2021, and Nov. 16, 2021, and have a license number of SC-000009, AU-SC-000113, SC-000014 or AU-SC-000103.