Michigan is the latest state to have a massive cannabis product recall
The Undercover Stoner on Friday Dec 10, 2021
Michigan regulators just recalled thousands of marijuana products that passed the required safety tests at licensed testing facilities over the last five months. The basis for this recall is that all the test results were inaccurate.
This order has resulted in massive losses across several cannabis stores in the state. With nothing less than 400 stores being impacted, All stores that procured or tested products at Viridis Laboratories between August and November were affected by this product recall.
The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) announced last Wednesday through local news outlets that all products tested by Viridis Laboratories between August tenth and November sixteenth were detected to have been issued unreliable results.
From the recall memo, all products except inhalable cannabis concentrate like distillate, vape carts, and live resins were included. This means flowers, pills, gummies, and other edibles will be returned.
When plants are harvested and processed, they must be tested at licensed laboratories and accurately labeled and tracked for customers to ascertain that they are the real deal.
The investigations began when two ex-cops reported discrepancies in the test results issued by Viridis Laboratories within the stated time frame. Todd Welch and Dr. Michele Glinn take their jobs as legal weed testers quite seriously.
Viridis Laboratories has disclosed that it is fully cooperating with the Michigan marijuana regulatory agency while they conduct their investigations.
The management of the laboratory told CBS News in an interview that they do not support the decision of the agency to recall the products as they are sure of the accuracy of the results. They also disclosed that they are working with the customers to minimize the after-effects of the order and retest all the affected products without charge.
The CEO, Greg Michaud, emphasized that the laboratory firmly stands behind all the test results issued within that time frame.
For now, it remains unclear whether all the products that have been recalled are harmful to consume. This will be ascertained as soon as the products are retested. The MRA warned that the products might be potentially detrimental to immunocompromised customers. Customers suffering from lung diseases are also at risk of experiencing debilitating health issues like infection and aspergillosis. The agency suspects that the products have been exposed to mold and is focused on preventing people from suffering the health effects that are caused by mold inhalation.
The fate of the recalled products
When returned to the sellers, the potentially harmful products will be either retested by Viridis Laboratories or destroyed immediately by the sellers. The regulatory agency demands that proof be tendered for every product destroyed by the sellers.
What this means for the affected dispensaries
This is the largest recall in Michigan since the cannabis industry was legalized. The total value of the marijuana recalled is at least 10 million dollars.
For some dispensaries, this means the end of all operations. Viridis Laboratories is one of the biggest and most popular labs in Michigan for cannabis product testing. Some dispensaries solely patronize the establishment. Those stores face a huge downfall, except they have insurance coverage.
In an interview by Metro Times, John Fraser, team leader of Dykema’s cannabis law practice in Michigan, mentioned that a dispensary had about 80% of its total inventory recalled. The remaining 20% includes inhalable and other consumables bought before August 10th, 2021. Dozens of dispensaries had at least 40% of their inventory recalled. Most are opting to have these products retested rather than destroyed.
Just like Mr. Fraser said, the entire situation can be likened to a nightmare, and dispensary owners and workers only wish they could wake up and see that it’s all not real.
Some of these businesses would have to shut down operations due to the large amount of loss that would be incurred. Except the retests come out with good results, this might all be a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Many in the Michigan-related cannabis industry are optimistic that the regulatory agency has a foolproof plan to guarantee all cannabis products are retested as soon as possible. A swift solution is required for dispensaries to get back on their feet.
The agency also has to develop a guidance team to monitor and lead other operators in the dispensaries on the following steps to take. This would also help quell the fear in the hearts of entrepreneurs.
Many of the retailers in the cannabis industry all wonder what the next step is. What exactly are retailers supposed to do now?
What this means for consumers
Consumers are the end-users of the products. The expected phase of events within the next few weeks is that the cost and prices of cannabis products throughout the state could increase significantly. Because hundreds of tons of cannabis products have been recalled, a higher demand is about to set in, but due to the shortage in supply, prices could double (or even triple).
It is essential to mention that the order itself is a means to protect students from infections and other diseases that might arise due to mold poisoning. Stephen Linder, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association (MCMA), says that this recall is a necessary evil. To her, it is regrettable, but it cannot be avoided.
Looking at the bigger picture, the MRA is on the right track. This act alone could save thousands of lives that might have been lost.
Michigan cannabis consumers who bought products from any of the affected stores should do well to return the recalled products to be disposed of or retested. Frequent consumers of weed who also have weak immune systems or lung-related ailments have been advised to be on the lookout for any adverse reactions to the products (for those that may have unknowingly consumed the products).
For residents with any other complaints or problems, the agency can be reached via email at [email protected]
Expect more information to be disclosed once the ongoing investigation has been completed. Return all recalled products and remain calm until then.
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