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In the days of cannabis prohibition, buying a bad batch of bud from your dealer left you with nothing but a bad taste in your mouth and a reminder to find a new supplier. But as legalization takes hold across the country, cannabis recalls have joined other agriculture and food products, with product recalls enacted to protect consumers and weed out bad actors in the industry.

According to a series of reports from MLive, the latest recall in Michigan’s legal cannabis industry is the state’s biggest yet, with more than 64,000 pounds of product worth a supposed $230 million pulled from dispensary shelves. Now, a month after the sweeping recall, more information is coming out about the effects of the tainted product, the specifics of the recall, and a new lawsuit that pushes back against the entire endeavor.

The target of the recall, Viridis Laboratories, is a state-licensed cannabis testing facility with two locations in Michigan that handle up to 70% of the state’s legal cannabis. When all of the flower that passed through Viridis from August 10th to November 16th was recalled, more than 400 dispensaries were affected.

Authorities targeted Viridis for the November 17th recall after they noticed that the firm was showing passing tests for cannabis that had failed to meet acceptable levels of yeast and mold at other testing facilities. In Michigan, cannabis products that fail mold or yeast tests are able to be remediated and tested again, but Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) officials noticed that Viridis was testing and passing flower that had been failed by other tests just the day before.

“As it relates to this recall, we had started noticing in … our statewide monitoring system that packages were failing for aspergillus and then being sent the next day to the (Viridis) laboratories, at which point they were being reported as passing without remediation by the grower,” MRA Scientific and Legal Section Manager Claire Patterson testified at a Michigan Court of Claims hearing on Thursday, Dec. 2. “Upon receiving that information, we began requesting additional information from the laboratories.”

When the agency tested four samples of flower product that had failed initial lab testing and then passed testing at Viridis, they found all four to still contain traces of aspergillus. Sources at the MRA also told MLive that Viridis had previously set off alarm bells because the products tested at their facility routinely returned incredibly high THC percentages, a selling point for legal weed that has been tied to testing lab improprieties in a number of states.

Despite those statistical discrepancies, Viridis’ owners, a trio of retired Michigan State Police Forensic Division employees, filed suit against the MRA to challenge the recall, alleging that the entire action was a politically motivated hit job.

“By instituting the recall, the (MRA) achieved its desired goal,” alleges the lawsuit filed in the state Court of Claims. “Among other things, the recall cast (Viridis) in a false, negative light with its customers, put a significant financial strain on (Viridis) due to the enormous fiscal size, placed (Viridis) in the precarious position of potentially having to shutter their doors depending upon what occurs within the upcoming days, not even weeks or months. To make matters worse, the (MRA) has continued its improper vendetta against (Viridis) business operations by summarily restricting and effectively suspending their license to test cannabis products for microbial contamination, meaning “Viridis” cannot even retest the samples that are subject to the recall to mitigate the devastating economic effects the recall will have on its customers.”

But while lawyers for Viridis are focused on the economic effects of the recall on their customers, new disclosures made during the court hearing showed that 18 people had adverse health effects due to consumption of the recalled cannabis. It is not exactly clear why MRA officials did not make the illness public sooner.

“We have received 18 adverse reaction complaints since the issuance of the recall,” MRA Scientific and Legal Section Manager Patterson testified. “In looking at those, they range from pretty serious side effects and hospitalization to more mild allergic-type reactions.”

Viridis has altered its cannabis storage and record-keeping practices since the recall, but consumers and state politicians are still skeptical as to how so much potentially dangerous cannabis could have reached customers.

“I think that if there is any sort of public health or consumer protection angle, if there is a genuine danger there, then that information needs to be released,” State Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor told MLive. “And really, there should be a bias towards transparency, towards consumers and the public being able to access that information.”

In the larger context of the cannabis industry, the ability to recall tainted cannabis at all is still relatively new, and while it may be scary for consumers and businesses alike, but the idea that there is a regulatory body looking out for cannabis smokers’ safety is something to be commended and a far cry from the solutions for bad weed during the prohibition days.