Macomb bans sale of Cloud 9, other synthetic drugs

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News
  • Emergency order blocks sales of Cloud 9, similar synthetic drugs
  • Synthetic cannabinoid can cause hallucinations, aggressive behavior, elevated heart rate, drowsiness

Mount Clemens – — County officials issued an emergency order Wednesday declaring an imminent danger to residents from a synthetic drug called Cloud 9 that sent several teens to the hospital this week.

County Executive Mark Hackel and William Ridella, director of the county health department, signed the order during a press conference at McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens.

The emergency order immediately denies retailers and individuals the ability to sell Cloud 9 and similar synthetic drugs in the county.

The Wayne County Department of Public Health also issued Wednesday an emergency imminent danger order involving substances branded as Cloud 9 and Hookah Relax.

“Wayne County is again issuing an imminent danger order to proactively protect the health of residents and warn them of the continued, serious and life-threatening health risks posed by the use of different forms of synthetic marijuana, and what is commonly known as bath salts,” Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said in a statement.

Hackel said the county issued an emergency order two years ago because of the synthetic drug K2 or Spice.

“The mad scientists are back at it and they’ve decided to come up with a new product,” Hackel said of Cloud 9. “We have been hearing about it here in Macomb County and seen some cases.”

On Thursday, Hackel said, law enforcement in Macomb County will meet on the issue to figure out what they can do to put pressure on state legislators to add Cloud 9 to the list of controlled substances.

There have been several dozen recent hospital emergency room admissions in Macomb County and elsewhere in southeast Michigan due to ingestion or inhalation of the product sometimes labeled as Relax or Crown.

On Monday, two Westland John Glenn High School students were taken to the hospital after ingesting Cloud 9. The drug is primarily sold as a liquid in eyedropper bottles and is often used with e-cigarettes or hookah pens.

Cloud 9 contains the chemical AB-PINACA, a synthetic cannabinoid that can cause serious health effects including hallucinations, aggressive behavior, elevated heart rate, drowsiness and vomiting.

Ridella said this is a dangerous drug that is not being used just by teens. He said the age of those taking synthetic drugs such as Cloud 9 ranges from 13 to 20.

Residents aware of businesses and people selling and/or repackaging Cloud 9 or similar synthetic drugs can call the Macomb County Health Department at (586) 469-5235 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or leave a message after hours and on weekends.

(313) 222-2613