LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency is warning people of a recall on a number of cannabis products.
The MRA released a bulletin Wednesday after it said it found unreliable, inaccurate results of products tested by safety compliance facilities Viridis North, LLC and Viridis Laboratories, LLC.
The recall applies to all cannabis products tested by Viridis between Aug. 10 and Nov. 16 except vape carts, live resin, distillate or any other cannabis concentrate created through residual solvent extractions.
The bulletin did not list a specific issue with the marijuana products but said people with compromised immune systems or lung disease who consumed the products are at the highest risk of health incidents such as aspergillosis, which an infection caused by a common mold.
The recall affects many dispensaries in the state, including dozens in West Michigan.
“That was the first time I’ve ever experienced anything like this happening,” Megan Smith with Pharmhouse Wellness in Grand Rapids said.
Pharmhouse Wellness is a locally owned dispensary that opened in March 2020. It was one of the 12 provisioning centers in Grand Rapids on the MRA’s list of those that may have carried some of the Viridis tested products. Pharmhouse says it is grateful potentially faulty products never made it to its shelves or into the hands of its customers.
“We were fortunate enough where (the recall) didn’t have a great impact on us. We had a handful of items that were on the recall list and they actually just came into the shop earlier this week so they weren’t even on the shelves yet,” Smith said.
Smith said the recall has hit some other dispensaries hard and has the potential to scare off new business.
“Some dispensaries, it’s wiped out 50% of their inventory, which is a huge problem, and it also might create some fear in the consumer just not knowing is this going to show up with a bad test result after we’ve already smoked it all or ate it all,” Smith said.
Some dispensaries also stand to lose money as they repay customers who return the recalled items, though Pharmhouse says dispensaries should be able to recoup most from the companies they bought the product from.
Pharmhouse say its top priority is the safety of customers.
“If you are in fear of anything that you purchased, just call the dispensary where you purchased it at and see what they can do. They can look up any of the products that are on that recall list,” said Jackie Bogues with Pharmhouse.
The MRA suggests people who recently purchased marijuana products check the label for license numbers to determine if the product is a part of the recall. If it is, the MRA says people can return the products to the place where they bought it. It is unclear if customers should expect monetary refunds from local dispensaries.
Dispensaries will be required to post signs about the recall on sales floor for the next month. They will also be required to either destroy all products that were a part of the recall, send them back to the original licensee to be destroyed or have the product retested for the microbials compliance panel.
Viridis Labs, the company at the center of the alleged faulty testing, says it disagrees with the MRA’s findings but is complying. It released the following statement regarding the matter:
“At Viridis Laboratories, the health and safety of patients and adult-use cannabis consumers is our top priority.
“Viridis is the highest accredited cannabis testing facility in the state and sets the standard for accurate, ethical cannabis testing.
“We pride ourselves on using the safest, most accurate testing methods, and we hold ourselves to the highest standards developed through our founders’ expertise and decades of experience in forensic science and toxicology at the Michigan State Police.
“We’ve been informed that some products tested by Viridis are being recalled by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).
“While we strongly disagree with this decision and firmly stand by our test results, we are fully cooperating with the MRA and working closely with our customers to minimize interruptions and retest affected products at no cost.
“We look forward to continuing to serve our amazing customers using the best, most cutting-edge scientific methods available so we can fulfill our mission of promoting the health and safety of patients and adult-use consumers.”CEO Greg Michaud, Viridis Laboratories
A full list of the dispensaries that may have been carrying the affected products can be found on the state website. The MRA says the matter remains under investigation.