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How Michigan retailers are dealing with massive marijuana recall

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Posted at 8:01 AM, Nov 23, 2021

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — PUFF Cannabis Company just opened a new location in Madison Heights at John R Road and 12 Mile Road last week. Within 48 hours of their grand opening, some of their best and most in-demand products had to be pulled from the shelves.

Boxes full of marijuana products were tucked away in a back room on Monday, all caught up in a statewide recall.

“All of this had to be pulled off the shelves immediately,” PUFF Founder and President Justin Elias said. "It's a lot of product, a crazy amount of money."

All of it adds up to $1 million worth of marijuana. It’s a majority of the store’s product, and Elias can’t sell it.

“A lot, probably 60% to 70% of the product,” Elias said.

PUFF is far from the only dispensary dealing with the recall, which is impacting nearly 500 dispensaries statewide. All of them used Viridis Labs to test their products. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency says they identified inaccurate or unreliable results from the lab.

“The retailers are affected the most because this product comes off of their shelves for a couple of weeks," Elias said. "It’s a lot of their main product.”

In a statement, Viridis’ CEO Greg Michaud said they are committed to safety and have the highest accredited cannabis testing facility in the state.

He also defended their testing, saying “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.”

But every day that goes by is another day of lost revenue for retailers like PUFF. As Elias works to get all the product retested, he’s confident it's safe.

"We’re really not worried about retesting it and passing, we’ll retest it and pass it with no problem," Elias said. "If that’s what we gotta do, that’s what we gotta do.”