The manufacturing of hash oil and honey oil has become a huge profit-making business, but it’s illegal and quite dangerous and the police are doing what they can to crack down on it. For more well-known cannabis companies that are trying to become part of the craze, it can be even more destructive. Such is the case in Pasadena, California, where police raided a popular medical marijuana lab known as The Werc Shop.
According to a report in the Pasadena Star News, police raided the shop earlier this week, detained 28 people and eventually arrested two men — 39-year-old Jeffrey Raber and 43-year-old Mark Piesner on suspicion in manufacturing a controlled substance.Raber has a Ph.D. in chemistry.
According to an article in SF GATE’s Smell The Truth, “The Werc Shop is considered to be a a leading cannabis analysis laboratory in Southern California, and performs potency and pathogen testing on southland medical cannabis for dispensaries, collectives and patients.”
The raid came after an anonymous tip about cannabis odor led police to two Werc Shop sites. Officers seized “200 pint-sized bottles” of hash oil, 500 pounds of marijuana and found a “manufacturing factory for hash oil or honey oil.”
None of the police photos show there was an extraction lab, but did show that there was an “analytical laboratory”.
According to the article, laws on California’s analytical cannabis labs are not specifically legalized under Proposition 215 or SB 420, so operators could be subject to federal or state charges for handling marijuana. In the same token, some California cities make it mandatory that cannabis be tested at labs before being sold to patients. As for the legality of extraction labs, it all depends on a pending California Appellate Court ruling that would criminalize cannabis extraction using butane, but would allow for extraction using inflammable solvents like water.