Officials warn of fentanyl-laced marijuana in Michigan, call it ‘emerging public health threat’

No lab confirmed cases in Michigan; 8 suspected cases

A marijuana plant grows in a field in the mountains surrounding Badiraguato, Sinaloa state, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) (Eduardo Verdugo, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Michigan poison control officials have issued a warning about possible cases of fentanyl-laced marijuana in the state, labeling it as a potential “emerging public health threat.”

The Michigan Poison & Drug Information Center (MiPDC) issued the alert, reporting that outside of Michigan, several patients have been treated in emergency rooms for opioid exposure and overdose after patients claimed to have only smoked marijuana. The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency sent the alert out on Friday.

There have not yet been any laboratory confirmed cases of marijuana laced with fentanyl in Michigan, according to MDHHS.

However, since June 1 of this year, eight suspected cases of fentanyl-laced marijuana in Michigan have been identified in a review of probable opioid overdose Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responses, where there were mentions of marijuana being potentially laced (fentanyl, heroin, unspecified).

To date there have not been any reported deaths among the suspected cases.

What to look out for

If you purchase marijuana products, only do so from licensed and reputable sources and vendors. Marijuana users should be cautious when sourcing products and be aware of the symptoms related to opioid use/abuse and the signs of an opioid overdose including:

• Confusion

• Drowsiness

• Dizziness

• Headache

• Anxiety

• Vomiting

• Pinpoint pupils

• Respiratory depression (i.e. slowed breathing)

• Respiratory arrest

• Low blood pressure and low heart rate

• Shock

• Death

Fetal exposure to fentanyl can result in fetal opioid dependence and withdrawal, respiratory depression, and abnormal growth and development.

Call 911 immediately if anyone who has used marijuana develops symptoms that may be related to a fentanyl or other opioid exposure. The MiPDC stresses the importance of storing marijuana products out of sight and reach of children. Unintentional and intentional use and misuse of fentanyl can be fatal.

Training for the use of the reversal agent for opioid overdoses, naloxone, is encouraged. Visit the michigan.gov/Opioids for programs and resources near you from MDHHS.

For more information or questions, call the 24/7 number below.

Michigan Poison & Drug Information Center | 1-800-222-1222

Michigan Poison & Drug Information Center (MiPDC) is a nationally-accredited poison center with the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and provides expert medical advice to the public, hospitals, EMS, and all health care providers throughout Michigan who need advice regarding poison-related emergencies. The MiPDC operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

The Michigan Poison & Drug Information Center is part of the Emergency Medicine Department at Wayne State University School of Medicine. The MiPC is one of 55 accredited pois


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.