Following an explosion in a residential neighborhood on Eugene’s west side, authorities suspect a hash oil operation as the culprit.
Police officers and firefighters responded to calls of an explosion Tuesday evening. They arrived on the 2900 block of Roosevelt Ave. around 6:30 pm.
First responders took 1 man to the hospital. He reportedly sustained injuries in connection with the explosion. Further details regarding his identity and condition remain unknown.
Upon investigation, authorities discovered evidence to suggest the explosion directly resulted from a butane hash oil operation. While Oregon legalized cannabis consumption in 2014 by passing ballot measure 91, production requires permits and regulatory compliance.
Home manufacturing of hash oil is illegal. Following several incidents of explosions, the reasoning becomes clear.
Hash Oil Manufacturing Pitfalls
In response to several fires resulting from the practice, Governor Kate Brown made the production of cannabis extracts illegal for anyone without a proper license.
Shortly thereafter, law enforcement made the first arrest under the new law. In 2016, a man residing in Springfield became the first to face charges of illegally producing cannabinoid extract.
However, he wasn’t the last. The following year, another man living in Cottage Grove received a prison sentence of 7 years. He operated a warehouse where he produced cannabinoid extract. That warehouse ignited, leading to his arrest.
As recently as last month, another individual sustained burns in connection with a suspected extract operation. He ran it out of a building he and his wife squatted in.
The volatile nature of cannabinoid extraction lies in the use of butane. The process involves dissolving cannabis leaves in a highly flammable solvent. Then, the second step sees the manufacturer cooking it. It produces fumes that often linger, presenting a fire and explosion hazard. Still, people utilize the method because it produces a cannabis product up to five times as potent as smoking bud.