More than 400 Michigan pot shops affected by massive testing recall

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Product at more than 400 Michigan medical and recreational marijuana facilities is believed to have been impacted by a testing issue that led the state to issue one of the largest recalls since the Marijuana Regulatory Agency was formed in 2019. 

The agency on Wednesday recalled all products tested by Viridis Laboratories and Viridis North because of "inaccurate and/or unreliable results of products tested" by safety compliance facilities. The recall does not include inhalable marijuana concentrate products such as live resin, distillate or vape carts. 

Products affected were tested between Aug. 10 and Nov. 16. 

The state released a list of 403 sales locations impacted by the recall Thursday. 

Viridis Laboratories CEO Greg Michaud said the company "strongly" disagrees with the decision and maintains the validity of its test results, noting the company is the "highest accredited cannabis testing facility in the state." But, Michaud said, "we are fully cooperating with the MRA and working closely with our customers to minimize interruptions and retest affected products at no cost."

"We look forward to continuing to serve our amazing customers using the best, most cutting-edge scientific methods available so we can fulfill our mission of promoting the health and safety of patients and adult-use consumers," Michaud said in a statement.

The potential harm from the products includes health-related effects such as aspergillosis, an infection caused by a type of mold, among those with weakened immune systems, the state said. 

"Consumers who have marijuana products in their possession that meet the recall criteria may return the products to the marijuana sales location where they were purchased for proper disposal," the state said in a statement Wednesday.

Licensees with the product can have the product retested, send it back to the original licensee or destroy the product and provide proof to the state by emailing MRA-Compliance@michigan.gov.

Sales locations that carried the product also must display the recall notice on their sales floor for 30 days. People with adverse reactions should email MRA-Enforcement@michigan.gov or call (517) 284-8599.

More information about the recall and next steps for sellers is located online.

Marijuana groups across the state raised concerns about the recall and the massive effect it would have. 

"While the recall announced today by the MRA will be disruptive to the business operations of some of our members as well as the industry as a whole, product recalls are sometimes a necessary function of a licensed, regulated market to ensure product safety," said Stephen Linder, a Lansing lobbyist and executive director for the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association. 

eleblanc@detroitnews.com