PORTLAND -- Health officials say a form of synthetic marijuana known as spice has caused at least a half-dozen cases of sudden kidney failure in Oregon and southwest Washington since May.

The Oregon Health Authority says experts are analyzing samples of synthetic marijuana to find the toxin that triggered the injuries.

The agency has also asked doctors across the region to report any cases of kidney failure linked to the drug. Spice-related illnesses have been reported elsewhere in the United States.

Authorities in Wyoming made three arrests in March after several people in the Casper area were hospitalized for kidney failure after smoking spice.

The Oregon Board of Pharmacy voted to ban the sale and possession synthetic cannabis products last year.

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