Michigan court case a partial win for testing lab in cannabis recall fight

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A Michigan testing lab scored a partial victory when a state judge affirmed that regulators were wrong to issue a broad cannabis product recall in November.

However, the judge also said state authorities acted within the scope of the law.

Judge Thomas Cameron of the Michigan Court of Claims wrote in an opinion that the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s November recall of products tested by Viridis Laboratories’ Bay City facility was “arbitrary and without basis” and could be equivalent to a “substantive due process violation.”

“The threat of irreparable harm to the reputation of the Bay City facility arising out of the recall remains and has largely been left unrebutted,” Cameron wrote.

The judge ordered that the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) be prohibited from further enforcing the November recall as it pertained to Viridis’ Bay City lab.

But the judge also gave the MRA a partial victory by refusing to agree that the same was true of Viridis’ lab in Lansing, which was included in the recall order.

“Here, the MRA identified testing discrepancies that implicated safety concerns,” Cameron wrote. “That the wisdom of such a recall is or could be debatable is not enough to survive rational-basis review or to establish an equal-protection claim.”

The case is not over, however.

According to a Viridis news release, the company’s attorney intends to pursue further legal claims against individual Michigan officials in a different court.

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“We continue to pursue all legal remedies so we can shine a spotlight on the MRA’s troubling conduct and improper practices and help ensure the massive disruption and chaos caused by the MRA does not happen again,” Viridis’ attorney, David Russell, said in a statement.

The recall was partially lifted in early December after Viridis filed suit and, later in the month, another judge refused to reinstate the recall and allowed the case to proceed.