The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a third death linked to synthetic cannabinoids since early March.
Often called K-2 or Spice, the chemicals are similar to those found in marijuana, but they are unregulated. A compound found in rat poison is believed to be responsible for the deaths and more than 100 people hospitalized.
Chris Stone, CEO of HCI Alternatives... a medical marijuana dispensary in Springfield and the metro east, says he has concerns about the impact of synthetic marijuana on the medical cannabis industry.
"We need to make sure we are educating people about the differences. I hope that it does effect what people are considering to use when it comes to pain medication and they're considering the use of medical-grade marijuana and being able to get a card."
Many who have died or been hospitalized suffered from severe internal bleeding.