CHICAGO (CBS) — It seemed like a typical corner store, but police sources say clerks were selling something sinister inside.

The store in Lawndale was shut down after a Chicago Police investigation found clerks selling potentially deadly synthetic cannabis. It’s not known whether the store is linked to any recent illnesses in the Chicago area, from the product.

“We want to alert people to the dangers of using synthetic cannabinoids,” Jennifer Layden, the chief medical officer of the Illinois Department of Public Health, told CBS 2’s Suzanne LeMignot.

Since March 10, Layden says, there have been 17 cases of severe bleeding in people using synthetic cannabinoids.

“With this particular cluster, what we are seeing is people are coming in with various types of bleeding,” Layden said. “Whether it’s nose bleeds, bleeding from their gums, bleeding in their urine. Very severe bleeding that’s prompting them to go to the emergency room.”

“People have reported purchasing it from various convenience stores, dealers or acquiring it from friends. The vast majority have reported acquiring the product in the Chicagoland area.”

Layden says the synthetic cannabinoids are made up of hundreds of various chemicals and can impact brain function, create hallucinations, delusions and even violent behavior.

Layden says they’re investigating right now, to identify a common product, that could link all the cases.

Layden says the synthetic cannabinoids are made up of hundreds of various chemicals and can impact your brain function, create hallucinations, delusions and even violent behavior.  Layden says they’re investigating right now, to identify a common product, that could link all the cases.

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