FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Feb. 25, 2022
CONTACT: Melissa Anders, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, (517) 329- 2480, firstname.lastname@example.org
New evidence shows MRA did not follow own policies and procedures on recalls
LANSING and BAY CITY, Mich. — Viridis Laboratories pointed to new evidence and sworn testimony from Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) officials in its case to overturn the agency’s ill-conceived and botched recall of cannabis tested by Viridis.
More than half of the recall has already been reversed and thrown out by a judge. On Thursday, attorneys for Viridis filed a motion for partial reconsideration of the Michigan Court of Claim’s Feb. 3, 2022 opinion and order regarding the recall of cannabis tested by Viridis at its Lansing and Bay City facilities.
While the Court ruled that “the issuance of the recall against the Bay City facility was, on the Court’s review of the record, arbitrary and without basis,” it upheld the recall of products tested by Viridis Lansing.
At the time of that ruling, the Court was unaware of new evidence that Viridis had recently uncovered through depositions of MRA agents.
The motion details several key new findings from depositions, emails and public documents, including:
• The MRA knowingly and repeatedly has allowed trash bags full of illicit, untested product to be sold in licensed stores, undermining their claim that their botched recall was purportedly about health and safety.
• The MRA acknowledged in email correspondence it did not follow its own established internal policies and procedures for recalls and acknowledged that its justification for the recall was flawed.
• In a scramble to do damage control, some MRA employees conspired in hopes of saving face and circumventing the preliminary injunction by proposing a sham “audit” that thankfully got vetoed by another MRA employee, who said she was “really not comfortable” with the “bias sampling” scheme.
• The MRA completely ignored expert advice from respected national accrediting agencies and cannabis testing industry experts and scientists prior to the recall, but then sought assistance from one of those experts after the recall because no one at the MRA knew how to interpret the testing data at issue.
“These depositions have shined a light on several areas that need improvement at the MRA, and we intend to use this as a catalyst for change in the industry,” said Viridis CEO Greg Michaud. “We’re committed to this litigation with the hope that this will lead to necessary reforms and additional oversight, accountability and transparency for the MRA.”
Viridis had uncovered “significant evidence supporting their position that the MRA improperly targeted them due to its employees’ political objectives, motivations, and biases rather than their purported concern for public health and safety,” the motion reads.
MRA enforcement agents testified under oath that although illicit, untested and unlabeled cannabis is being found in MRA-licensed facilities, they’re told to leave it, even when finding trash bags full of the illicit product that agents know is being combined with tested, legal product.
“Discovery has revealed that the MRA is only situationally concerned with public health and safety,” the motion reads.
The recall, which was announced on Nov. 17, was the largest in state history and has created significant harm and disruption to Michigan’s cannabis industry, leading many to question the MRA’s practices, including several of the state’s leading cannabis businesses and policymakers.
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