Homemade hash oil can start fires, explosions

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The legalization of marijuana has brought about more drug experimentation including the making of homemade hash oil and accidents from it, said Jim Schrant, resident agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"One of the big dangers that comes with that process is there have been a number of fires and unfortunately resulted fatalities all over the United States," Schrant said.

Schrant said the process used to make hash oil for products such as marijuana edibles can cause fires or explosions.

Highly flammable liquids, like butane, pull the THC out of the marijuana plant to make it into a potent oil.

"Anything from just spontaneous combustion to the electrical charge by throwing on a light switch can ignite those chemicals in the right conditions," Schrant said.

It's more commonly made in makeshift laboratories than regulated industrial environments, he said.

Mesa County Sheriff's Office hasn't identified any incidents to hash oil, Public Information Officer Heather Benjamin said.

"We don’t see it to be a big problem," she said. "Obviously when it does happen then that incident becomes a very big problem."

Butane hash oil is said to be the cause of an explosion at a Colorado Springs apartment last week.

Grand Junction law enforcement still hasn't determined a cause for Sunday night's explosion at the Monument Inn on North Ave.


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