Authorities there believe the synthetic marijuana was laced with rat poison, which had the affect of taking high doses of blood thinners, Anderson said.
All of the cases involved unexplained bleeding, such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, bloody nose or bleeding gums.
As of Thursday, April 5th, 89 people have been hospitalized in the city of Chicago and surrounding neighborhoods after ingesting synthetic cannabis known as K2 or Spice, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
Federal officials say synthetic cannabinoids were packaged in sealed containers and labeled with such names as 'Matrix, ' 'Blue Giant, ' and 'Crazy Monkey.' Testing of the products revealed brodifacoum, a toxic substance frequently used in rat poison.
Synthetic marijuana is extremely lucrative for retailers, who sell it illegally, said Cara Smith, chief policy officer with the Cook County sheriff's office. Lu says that brodifacoum poisoning effects can last weeks to months. It can cause severe, even fatal, bleeding.
"While public health officials in MI have not been made aware of any cases to date, the fact IL is a neighboring state gives us cause for concern", Dr. Eden Wells, the department's chief medical executive, said in the release. Officials said there has been one confirmed case in Wisconsin. Hundreds of different synthetic cannabinoid chemicals are manufactured and sprayed on dried plant material or sold as liquids to be inhaled in addictive tobacco products like e-cigarettes or other vaping devices. Other interventions may be necessary depending on the severity of the poisoning. The illnesses in IL, which have resulted in 60 hospitalizations, have been associated with use of synthetic marijuana products, the health department said. They reported that there have been 95 cases of severe bleeding, and nearly 30 of those cases happened in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. The person's current medical status was not immediately disclosed.