A butane hash oil laboratory in Telluride, Colo., was exposed when the suspect called emergency services after a pit bull bit his penis. Upon arriving at the residence, police reported seeing large amounts of blood, along with an array of butane bottles, several trays of suspected hash oil, and other potentially dangerous materials. A hash oil operation is dangerous, so authorities are investigating whether it breaks any Colorado state laws.
Colorado is famous for its legalization of recreational marijuana. However, creating hash oil in your home does not fit into the law as clearly. “These marijuana oil extraction operations are extremely dangerous … [but] there is some debate by our legal advisors if the operations are in fact illegal,” San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters explained, The Huffington Post reported.
The individual was taken to the hospital for his dog bite wound while police were left to weigh the legality of the situation. In similar cases, Colorado police have arrested hash oil cookers with “processing or manufacturing marijuana and marijuana concentrate” through a different law. The Telluride Fire Department’s Hazmat Team and sheriff’s office investigators are waiting for a judge to sign a warrant before continuing their investigation, KRDO reported.
The dangers involved with making hash oil in one's home has police worried about what they found in Telluride. According to the Los Angeles Times, there have been at least 31 explosions related to butane and hash oil in Colorado in the past year, during which at least 21 people were injured. “Within the last couple of weeks, the trend has started to generate some attention. Now people are starting to see it’s a little dangerous—it just takes a little spark,” task force director Tom Gorman explained.
One brewer, Corbin Braithwaite, was hospitalized because of injuries sustained in the explosion of his kitchen manufacturing operations. “I wasn’t even playing with fire,” Braithwaite told police, the LA Times reported. The Colorado resident had his mustaches, goatee, and arm hair burnt off in the explosion. A window blew out, walls cracks, and flames engulfed the room. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt, but Braithwaite was hit with various charges, including arson and child abuse, since his two children, aged 5 months and 4 years old, were home at the time.
Butane, the gas predominately used to manufacture hash oil, is an odorless gas that is heavier than air. It is able to travel along the floor for large distances, and without proper ventilation it can linger. All it takes is a spark to ignite the room.
Hash oil is known as the most potent form of cannabis on the planet. Marijuana smokers have been making hash oil, using solvents such as butane or ethyl alcohol for some time now. The process involves taking an empty tube, usually made from aluminum, glass, or steel, and packing it with pot leaves. A coffee filter is put on one end and a rubber stopper on the other. Butane is then injected into the tube, and its low temperature crystallizes the cannabis resins and makes them extractable.