Lansing — The Michigan House on Tuesday approved legislation that would require pregnancy warning labels on any medical and recreational marijuana products sold through retail shops. 

The labels would warn women that using marijuana while pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding could lead to complications, including fetal injury preterm birth, low birth weight or developmental problems for their child.

Sponsoring Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, said the proposal was inspired by a Saginaw area doctor who said he was seeing an increase in pregnant and breastfeeding women who were using marijuana. 

“A warning label is a simple and effective safety measure that will help protect Michigan’s future generations,” Albert said in a statement after the vote, comparing the label to warnings on alcohol and tobacco products.

Michigan voters chose to legalize medical marijuana in 2008 and last year approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational use and sales. The state is expected to begin processing recreational pot business license applications later this year.

The warning label legislation, now heading to the Senate after a 105-4 vote in the House, also would require businesses to provide customers with a pamphlet on marijuana use by minors at the point of sale. 

The Legislature would leave the wording of the pamphlet to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, but the bills require the pamphlets to at least be 3.5 inches by 5 inches and contain safety information and the Poison Control hotline. 

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency supports the legislation, including a companion bill sponsored by Rep. Daire Rendon, R- Lake City. 

Rep. Beau LaFave, an Iron Mountain Republican who was one of four lawmakers to vote against the measure, said he thinks warning labels become less effective when overused.

“It’s a little bit harder to vote against marijuana labeling in pregnancy, but if I’m going to be ideologically consistent, I would have to, and that’s what I did today,” he said.

Staff Writer Beth LeBlanc contributed.

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