TRUCKEE, Calif. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Local authorities have said they are seeing a dangerous trend that could be heading our way, and they are attributing it to California's medical marijuana laws.
Truckee Police are seeing an uptick in home explosions and fires. Homemade hash oil is to blame. It is said to have medicinal value, and it is sold legally in cannibus clubs in California.
But making it at home with highly flammable butane is not legal. It's a felony. Police say the lure of money is enticing people, and the risks are great.
Police are still investigating the aftermath of an explosion from a hash oil-making session gone wrong. It's the third house explosion in the small community of Truckee since last fall due to homemade hash oil.
"This is a trend that is going to continue all throughout California," said Truckee Police Captain Rob Leftwich. "I might say at this point California is unfortunately leading the way in the nation, because of medical marijuana laws, but I'm sure Colorado, Washington and some of those other areas are going to start to experience the same thing."
Police say 54-year-old Douglas Hall told them he was making and selling his hash oil, which is also known as Butane Honey Oil, to cannibus clubs in San Francisco. Butane Honey Oil is made using highly-flammable butane to extract the euphoric component from marijuana, which is THC. What's left is a residue that has a very high concentration of THC. Police say in addition to cannibus clubs, hash oil is also becoming popular with teens and young adults, who are using vape pens to smoke it.
Police say this is a very scary trend. "Different than drug dealers and your perception might be or what you think the idea is behind a drug user or a drug dealer, marijuana is a whole other level of that."
Truckee Police say the current hash oil trend has similarities to the crack-cocaine epidemic of the 80's and 90's. What iss different is the changing economic dynamic of marijuana distribution, now that medical marijuana is legal.