Michigan wants to be a leader in marijuana education, but the feds stand in the way
Northern Michigan University offers various cannabis certificate programs and the University of Michigan in 2019 launched at least one course focused on the plant. The extent of marijuana available to Northern Michigan University students is a “speck on a slide” that’s used for chemical analysis, said university spokesman Derek Hall. Similarly, Northern Michigan University students learning about marijuana aren’t able to work with it. “Related to cannabis, (Northern Michigan University) operates by the federal guidelines of the Drug Free Schools Act,” said Hall. “Any state changes are secondary to the federal.”More on MLive:Should Michigan marijuana businesses disclose when ‘kill step’ is used?mlive.com
Corporatization, power struggles and a historic recall: Michigan marijuana’s 2021 growing pains
Like an awkward teenager entering puberty, Michigan’s marijuana industry experienced some growing pains in 2021. The numbersSince January 2021, Michigan marijuana revenue surged 53% from about $110 million per month to $168 million in December, which also marked a monthly record for recreational sales, $135 million. Brisbo said the latest figures indicate Michigan’s marijuana industry directly supports nearly 33,000 jobs. “We’ve seen a lot of our members, even small mom-and-pop retailers, expanding into new areas,” said Robin Schneider, director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association (MCIA), the state’s largest marijuana trade organization. Dubbed the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act, the laws would limit caregivers, currently allowed to grow up to 72 plants, to 24.mlive.com
Judge denies request to reinstate Michigan marijuana recall on contaminated product
The Court of Claims on Monday, Dec. 20, denied a request from the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) asking the judge to reinstate a recall on contaminated marijuana. The MRA “failed to establish that a palpable error occurred that misled the court and parties... " Murray wrote in his opinion denying the MRA request. At least one more complaint has now been filed in connection with recalled marijuana tested by Viridis, bringing the total to 19. “The email complaints that were provided to MLive via FOIA raise additional concerns,” Viridis Laboratories founder and CEO Greg Michaud said. “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.mlive.com
Read 18 health complaints linked to massive Michigan marijuana recall
Increased seizure activity, allergic reactions, chest pains, flu-like symptoms, paranoia, a “chemical burning sensation” and at least two emergency room visits are among the health complaints linked to an estimated 64,000-pound marijuana recall in Michigan. Eighteen customers reported negative health effects after smoking or otherwise consuming recalled marijuana products tested by Viridis Laboratories, which operates sites in Lansing and Bay City. The MRA on Dec. 16 filed a motion in the Court of Claims asking the judge to revisit his ruling. The motion for reconsideration said 26 percent, or 58 of 221 marijuana samples that were retested while the recall was in place, failed testing. More on MLive:How Michigan marijuana became $2 billion industryMarijuana recall blamed for 18 health complaintsViridis fights back in courtViridis claims ‘bureaucratic’ abuseMichigan issues $200 million marijuana recallPinconning Paralyzer podcastPregnancy tests, VR goggles among marijuana research purchasesResearch grants to be announced in AugustCaregivers at odds with corporate cannabismlive.com
Licensing agency asks judge to allow removal of moldy weed from Michigan marijuana market
The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) on Tuesday, claiming it was ordered to do so by a Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray, released moldy, contaminated marijuana for potential sale to the public. The initial recall included marijuana tested by Viridis Laboratories, which operates testing locations in Lansing and Bay City, between Aug. 10 and Nov. 16. Murray ruled that the decision to include marijuana Viridis tested at its Bay City location was “arbitrary,” and not based on conclusive evidence that its testing produced faulty results. “Indeed, protecting public health and safety when it comes to the recently legalized market for marijuana products is of paramount concern to the MRA,” the MRA motion for reconsideration said. All of those samples subsequently failed aspergillus testing.mlive.com
Michigan lab fights back in court after becoming target of $230 million marijuana recall
A marijuana safety lab is suing the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) over a recall that impacted nearly $230 million worth and 64,000 pounds of marijuana products in the state, mostly flower. The marijuana recall, issued on Nov. 17, was so vast that more than 400 retail shops, and their customers, were impacted in some way. Not included in the recall were product made from THC extracts, which are not required to undergo microbial testing. Her office was initially told they were cleared to retest recalled product, but the MRA was telling customers the opposite. In the meantime, all of the recalled marijuana was placed on hold and unable to be sold.mlive.com
64,000-pound, $229 million Michigan marijuana recall is the result of bureaucratic ‘abuse,’ new lawsuit claims
The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) issued a recall on an estimated $229 million of marijuana tested by Viridis between Aug. 10 and Nov. 16 on claims that results were inaccurate or unreliable. “By instituting the recall, the (MRA) achieved its desired goal,” said the lawsuit filed in the state Court of Claims. “Some of the competitors have taken issue with (Viridis’) organic market share of the cannabis testing industry,” the lawsuit said. Viridis claims that a log of sample incubation is not a requirement of stature or agency rules. The Viridis lawsuit, among other demands, has asked the Court of Claims issue an injunction against the MRA, forcing the agency to lift the recall.mlive.com
Michigan’s recreational marijuana industry celebrates birthday after ‘incredible’ first year
Original licensing board abolished, March of 2019:Arguably the biggest event to shape the state’s marijuana industry came with Gov. Marijuana Regulatory Agency Director Andrew Brisbo said the nearly 35 applications received by 5 p.m. on the first day “slightly” exceeded expectations. First recreational marijuana sales, Dec. 1, 2019:The excitement for recreational marijuana translated to blocks-long lines and hours-long waits as eager customers arrived at the first four stores to publicly open, three of which are located in Ann Arbor and a fourth in Morenci. People wait in line to purchase recreational marijuana at Exclusive Brands in Ann Arbor on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency in October announced they would be doing away with the prerequisite beginning in March of 2020.mlive.com
Corporate marijuana battle in Michigan has medical users concerned about supply, cost
A corporate takeover of the marijuana industry in Michigan is creating concerns for those who rely on the plant for health benefits and more. Some people argue that corporate operations are working to cut out caregivers, who grow and sell marijuana to their medical patients. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency has cut a major supply chain of pot, which is affecting patients and business owners, who are experiencing a shortage. Patients are concerned that the battle between local and corporate operations and the shortage of some products might raise marijuana prices for those who need it most. Watch Hank Winchester’s full report in the video player above.
Michigan recalls marijuana product after someone licked pre-rolls during assembly
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) announced Thursday a recall on contaminated pre-rolls from retail outlets at Bay City, Hazel Park, Detroit, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, Lansing, River Rouge, Ferndale, Quincy, Lowell, Negaunee and Lapeer. According to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), the investigation was initiated on July 31. Consumers who have any of the contaminated pre-rolls in their possession should return them to the retailer where they were purchased for proper disposal. Consumers who have experienced symptoms after using these products should report their symptoms and product use to their physician. Consumers are also asked to report any adverse product reactions to the MRA via email at MRA-Enforcement@michigan.gov or call 517-284-8599.
Michigan marijuana regulations and COVID-19: What to know
The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) announced Thursday new regulations for marijuana licensees to follow in accordance with the states reopening guidelines and stay-at-home order. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer divided the state into eight regions under her MI Safe Start Plan as the states economy begins to reopen amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Each region will execute a reopening plan tailored to whatever phase of the pandemic they are currently experiencing. Marijuana retail locations and provisioning facilities have remained open amid the pandemic as they have been considered essential under Whitmers executive orders. RELATED: Sales are booming for Michigan marijuana businesses during coronavirus pandemic
Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency begins accepting business applications
DETROIT Friday was the first day LARAs Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) began accepting applications for recreational marijuana businesses. READ: Recreational marijuana businesses can apply for licenses in Michigan starting todayIts been a year since Michigan voters approved recreational marijuana usage and 11 years since medical marijuana was approved. Stuart Carter is the owner of Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana boutique on Lafayette Street. Like many others, Carter began the process Friday to get licensed for recreational marijuana. The city has opted out of recreational marijuana.