US (MA): Judge reverses media ban on remaining testing lab hearings

A Michigan administrative law judge on Wednesday, May 31, lifted a media ban prohibiting reporters and the public from attending contested court hearings between a cannabis testing lab and state licensors.

The case involves Viridis, a licensed cannabis testing lab with locations in Bay City and Lansing. The state Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA), through an enormous product recall in November 2021, court filings, audits and formal administrative complaints, has accused the lab of skirting rules and producing “unreliable” or “inaccurate” test results related to cannabis contamination and potency.

Cannabis products that fail contaminant testing or yield low THC results can be costly for producers. Viridis denies the claims and filed its own lawsuit against the CRA, accusing the regulator of abusing its power and unfairly targeting the safety lab. It is also fighting numerous rule violation complaints filed by the CRA.

“We are relieved to hear that the media and public will regain access to the proceedings,” said Robin Schneider, director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, a trade and lobbying group with more than 400 member businesses. “After the recent federal indictments, including the chair of our disbanded licensing board, transparency in all matters related to our industry moving forward is absolutely imperative.” Schneider is referencing Rick Thompson, a former Republican lawmaker, Speaker of the House and chair of the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board from 2017 and 2019. He pleaded guilty in April to accepting over $110,000 in bribes, in part to help certain businesses receive commercial cannabis licenses.


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