Tomorrow, a new law goes into effect in Colorado that will limit what ingredients can be used to produce hash oil at home. It will also be illegal to extract oil from a marijuana plant at home using butane. That process has already been the cause of numerous accidents in the state and in other states across the country. The new law is important, as it could set a precedent for how other states will monitor hash oil production and consumption.
According to an article in KOAA.com, an issue at hand prior to enacting that law was that in Colorado, the right to make hash oil is written into Amendment 64, the amendment that made cannabis legal in the state. So lawmakers decided to only ban the most dangerous production process by creating a law that states people can’t use combustible gas like butane or an open flame in the extraction process.
Butane has become the easiest and quickest way to extract marijuana oil. The problem is that it’s also highly combustible, along with being both colorless and odorless. It’s also heavier than air so it travels until it finds an ignition source and that can cause an unexpected explosion at any given time. Last year in Colorado, there were 32 hash oil explosions. Those 32 explosions injured 17 people. The new law makes manufacturing hash oil with butane or an open flame a class two felony punishable by up to 16 years behind bars.
Licensed manufactures will still be allowed to produce marijuana oil because the law only bans at-home hash production. Individual cities will also be allowed to put stronger restrictions on hash oil, such as zoning. Denver has already taken steps to do it and the City of Colorado Springs is exploring that option.
Marijuana experts point out that there are more safer and legal ways to extract the oil, such as using alcohol or water.