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Virdis Laboratories was founded by the former state police and has tested nearly 70 percent of all medical and recreational cannabis products sold in Michigan over the past five years.
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May 12, 2021 • • 28 minutes ago • • Read for 2 minutes Photo by Getty Images
Nearly a billion dollars worth of cannabis was sold in Michigan in 2020, and even before it hit store shelves, most of the bud was examined by ex-police officers, reports Lansing City Pulse.
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Virdis Laboratories was founded in 2016 by former members of the Michigan State Police. A total of around 40 employees are distributed across two Virdis laboratories, which work in Lansing and Bay City.
The leadership team consists of Greg Michaud, former director of forensics, Dr. Michele Glinn, former toxicology director and program coordinator; and Todd Welch, former forensic scientist.
What prompted the company to start, and told Lansing City Pulse that over the past five years, his team had tested nearly 70 percent of all recreational and medicinal cannabis products sold in Michigan.
In addition to terpene and cannabinoid profiles, Virdis tests heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, pesticides, microbes and other contaminants.
If the samples are passed, the remaining crop can be packaged and sold. The cannabis samples will be destroyed after the tests, regardless of whether the bud receives approval or not.
Welch told Lansing City Pulse that some of his former co-workers raised eyebrows when he first told them about his retirement plans, but the pivot has proven successful. With cannabis sales booming across Michigan, there are plans to expand the Lansing facility.
“I’ll say the reaction is completely different these days,” Welch said. “You think it’s great. They are interested. You want to know more. That stigma has really disappeared over time, ”he said.
It’s not the only police connection to the state’s legal cannabis industry. The former Flint Police Training Academy could soon become the base of a cannabis grow business.
“Flint seemed like a good city to start this type of business,” said Franko Sallaku, managing partner of Evergrow, last month.
Evergrow reportedly offered $ 500,000 ($ 615,000) to buy the vacated building and plans to turn it into growth as soon as possible.
If the sale is approved, the facility could supply cannabis to legal retailers in Flint and throughout the rest of the state.
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