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Court rules against Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency, supports Viridis North’s ability to obtain key documents, depositions
Court denies state’s latest attempt to block release of key information in litigation over botched recall
LANSING and BAY CITY, Mich. — In a victory for transparency and accountability, the U.S. District Court once again ruled in favor of Viridis North by clearing the way for it to receive and review key documents, discover evidence and question people under oath to determine individual liability among Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) leadership and staff for their roles in the November 2021 recall of cannabis tested by Viridis North in Bay City. The MIRS newsletter reported on this important story in their Wednesday night edition.
Judge Paul L. Maloney this month ruled against the state’s latest attempt to block the process of fact-finding discovery. “This sort of litigation strategy wastes the time and resources of the parties and the Court,” he wrote in his opinion.
The ruling follows several other legal wins for Viridis: Maloney ruled in October 2022 that Viridis North was cleared to move forward with its lawsuit against four individuals who worked for the CRA for violating its constitutional rights when issuing a recall in November 2021. Michigan Court of Claims judges ruled in December 2021 and again in February 2022 that more than half the recall was arbitrary and without basis.
“We applaud the Court for ruling in favor of truth and transparency so Viridis North can seek justice and hold the CRA’s leadership accountable for its actions,” said David Russell, attorney with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. “It’s time for the state to stop its delay tactics, admit responsibility for its actions and work with Michigan’s leading cannabis testing lab to move forward in the best interest of patient and consumer safety.”
Beyond trying to stop discovery of evidence, the CRA, through the Michigan Attorney General’s office, has filed a second motion to dismiss Viridis North’s claims that argues its employees have qualified immunity from lawsuits since marijuana is illegal under federal law.
“The same Attorney General’s office that champions marijuana rights in Michigan is now arguing to a federal court that there are no constitutional rights for license holders in Michigan and that Viridis North’s claim should be summarily dismissed,” Russell said. “We continue to pursue all legal remedies so we can shine a spotlight on the CRA’s troubling conduct and improper practices and help ensure the massive disruption and chaos caused by the CRA does not happen again.”
The November 2021 recall impacted an estimated $229 million in cannabis products and created significant harm and disruption to the state’s cannabis industry. Viridis North filed suit, arguing that the CRA, through its officials, weaponized its own administrative rules and processes to artificially dilute Viridis North’s market share or remove the company from the state’s cannabis testing industry altogether to give more business to its competitors.
Viridis has uncovered mounting evidence that CRA officials were motivated by a clear intent to harm the company’s growing and successful testing business, rather than the health and safety of Michigan consumers.
Viridis has gone above and beyond requirements set forth by state regulators to become the world’s first cannabis testing laboratory system to earn approval for its potency testing method through the AOAC Research Institute Reviewed and Recognized (R2) program. The company’s state-of-the-art laboratories in Lansing and Bay City have also been named as AOAC Research Institute-approved independent testing laboratories. These AOAC-approved laboratories assist the AOAC in their method approval processes.
Viridis additionally has the highest accreditation awarded to cannabis testing laboratories from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation as well as Patient Focused Certification through Americans for Safe Access.
Ensuring Health and Safety Within The Cannabis Industry
Viridis Laboratories is the leading provider of cannabis testing in Michigan and uses the latest technology and scientific methods to help promote the health and safety of patients and adult-use consumers