Whether Michigan violated the rights of a cannabis business with a massive 2021 recall is beside the point, a federal court ruled this week.

“Federal law considers cannabis to be contraband for any purpose,” U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney wrote in his July 31 order, dismissing a lawsuit filed by Viridis laboratories against the the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA)

Michigan, it appears, has a thriving, state-sanctioned contraband market. In June, nearly 700 licensed cannabis stores sold almost $260 million worth of cannabis products throughout the state, on pace to surpass $3 billion annually.

Viridis Laboratories, which operates labs licensed in Bay City and Lansing to test commercial cannabis for consumers, verified the safety of a large portion of that product.

The business’s public problems with the CRA began in November 2021 when the licensing agency issued a recall on nearly $230 million worth of marijuana tested by Viridis. At the time, the CRA claimed the labs’ results were faulty, inaccurate or unreliable, impacting a huge swath of cannabis in the market. Viridis in court filings said it held as much as a 70% market share on all testing and felt the CRA was trying to “level the playing field.”

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