Michigan regulators warn that recalled marijuana could contain mold and harmful bacteria

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Marijuana buds under a magnifying glass. - SHUTTERSTOCK
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  • Marijuana buds under a magnifying glass.

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency is urging a judge to reconsider his decision to halt part of a massive recall of marijuana, saying that some of the cannabis is likely contaminated.

The agency said it conducted more microbial tests and found that 26% of Viridis North’s recalled packages revealed yeast, mold and/or a bacteria called coliforms, The Detroit Free Press first reported.

The MRA recalled thousands of pounds of cannabis from more than 400 dispensaries on Nov. 17 because of inaccurate and unreliable testing results from Viridis North and Viridis Laboratories. It was the state's ever largest recall.

Viridis filed a lawsuit against state regulators, saying the recall was “unjustified, prejudiced and retaliatory.”

On Dec. 3, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray temporarily halted the recall for Viridis North but not Viridis Laboratories because the failed tests were at the Lansing facility.

But during subsequent testing, the state discovered that 26% of Viridis North’s retested cannabis failed microbial testing, the agency told the court.

"The MRA should not be compelled to turn a blind eye to the obvious hazard of returning products to the market that have — in fact — failed a microbial testing panel," the motion, submitted by Risa Hunt-Scully, an assistant attorney general representing the MRA, said.

Viridis Laboratories CEO Greg Michaud disputed the findings, saying that the retested cannabis is not a reflection of the original test results because the products could have been contaminated during transportation when it was processed or packaged, or after being handled by dispensary employees and customers.

The judge has not yet ruled on the motion for reconsideration.

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