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Michigan Testing Lab Sues Cannabis Regulators Over Massive Recall

· Nov 24, 2021
David Russell, an attorney with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. which is representing Viridis Laboratories, said in a statement that the recall “is the latest and most egregious act ...

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The Michigan cannabis testing laboratory that had products it tested over the last three months recalled is suing the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) claiming the recall was “was unjustified, prejudiced and retaliatory.”

David Russell, an attorney with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. which is representing Viridis Laboratories, said in a statement that the recall “is the latest and most egregious action by the MRA in a prolonged campaign of harassment” aimed at his client.

The recall — the most sweeping in state history — was announced on November 17 and represents an estimated $229 million in cannabis products, the law firm said in a press release.

Kevin Blair, an attorney with Honigman, LLP, which is also serving as counsel for Viridis, said the MRA “disregarded industry experts, widely accepted scientific practices, caused disruption through its reckless and arbitrary decision-making, and ultimately put the patients and consumers it is charged with protecting at risk.”

“There is no public health or safety risk justifying the recall at all, and we respectfully request the Court to provide relief to Viridis and bring accountability and oversight to an agency that has far exceeded its authority.” — Blair in a statement

The complaint, filed Monday in the Michigan Court of Claims, contends that the MRA violated state law and its own administrative rules by “effectively shutting down” Viridis’ Lansing and Bay City labs without following procedures which “mandate licensees must have an opportunity to present their case to an administrative law judge.”

“It appears the MRA has deliberately circumvented those well-established procedures in hopes of avoiding any oversight at all,” the lawyers wrote in a press release.

The complaint also alleges that regulators “problematically involved Viridis’ competitors in its investigation;” knew of the results of competitors’ audit tests at least three weeks before the recall; refused input from experts who said the recall was unwarranted and that the MRA rationale was flawed, and moved the goalposts when Viridis tried to rectify the situation.