Michigan issues huge marijuana recall based on safety testing concerns

On November 17, Michigan licensing officials released what is arguably the largest marijuana recall on record in the state, since the commercial market opened in December 2019.

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has recalled all marijuana flower products that passed safety tests at Viridis Laboratories between August 10 and November 16. The exact quantity of the affected products has not been published by the MRA.

The ARM called the lab test results “inaccurate and / or unreliable” in an advisory published just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, but offered no further explanation as to why the agency is concerned. The recall does not impact THC extracts, such as vape cartridges, resin, and distillate.

“While we strongly disagree with this decision and strongly stand by the results of our testing, we are fully cooperating with the MRA and working closely with our customers to minimize downtime and retest affected products at no cost,” said Viridis said in a prepared statement. “We were allowed to continue testing at our two state-of-the-art facilities.

“We look forward to continuing to serve our incredible customers using the best and most advanced scientific methods available so that we can fulfill our mission of promoting the health and safety of patients and adult consumers. “

Customers who have the recalled product are urged to return it to the retailer from which they purchased it “for proper disposal,” in the opinion of the MRA. “Consumers with weakened immune systems or who suffer from lung disease are at the highest risk for health-related incidents such as aspergillosis, which can impact lung function, if these potentially harmful products are consumed. . “

All products must have safety labels that contain the date the product passed testing and the laboratory where it was tested. Viridis Laboratories, founded by former Michigan State Police forensic scientists, operates laboratories in Bay City and Lansing. The license identification numbers for Viridis laboratories that must appear on the labels are: “SC-000009, AU-SC-000113” and “SC-000014, AU-SC-000103”.

Retailers, processors and licensed companies in possession of products that have been tested during the identified period are urged to cease sales and transfers.

“Marijuana outlets that have sold products covered by this bulletin must display this recall notice on the sales floor, visible to all customers, for 30 days from the date of this notice,” said the MRA. “Licensees whose products remain in inventory and who meet the recall criteria have the following options: Destroy the product and provide proof of destruction: [email protected]; have the product retested for the microbial compliance panel; (or) return the product to the original licensee’s source so that they can destroy or have the product re-tested as a larger lot. “

Microbial testing is intended to filter out products containing potentially high levels of yeasts, molds and bacteria, including potentially fatal E. coli (STEC) and Salmonella.

The MRA did not respond to MLive’s request for more information on the recall.

Viridis, a 2-year-old company, told MLive in June that it tests samples representing around 250,000 pounds of marijuana flowers that enter the market each year. While this figure is likely to have increased since June, it represents around 10% of all flowers sold in October, the most recent month for which data is available from the MRA.

The Michigan Cannabis Manufacturer’s Association (MCMA), a lobbying organization and industry trade group that supports the regulated market and tries to limit caregivers’ production of medical marijuana, released a statement following the reminder.

“At MCMA, we believe all cannabis should be tested, labeled and tracked and we believe cannabis should be regulated like alcohol, drugs and food products to promote patient and consumer safety,” said the group. “While the recall announced today by the MRA will disrupt the business operations of some of our members as well as the industry as a whole, product recalls are sometimes a necessary function of an authorized and regulated market to ensure safety. some products.

“Sadly, two-thirds of the cannabis sold in Michigan comes from the unregulated, unlicensed and illicit market, putting patient and consumer safety at risk.”

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