Just in time to trip up California’s oncoming legal weed bonanza, a bill has landed on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk which could seriously complicate the legal manufacture of butane hash oil in the state.
AB 1120 would, if signed, make butane legally akin to chemicals used in methamphetamine production. Sales would be limited to 600 milliliters a month per customer, and records would be kept of butane transactions, as reported by LA Weekly.
The reasonings for these restrictions are, to anyone following cannabis law, understandable and very familiar. The bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) expressed, in a statement, his dismay at the damage done by dab lab explosions. “Too many people are being injured or killed by illegal BHO labs,” he said. “Many of these labs are in people’s homes and apartments, posing a serious threat to the safety and well-being of innocent families living nearby.”
According to a fact sheet on the bill, “This type of ‘point-of-sale’ regulation works… It has a proven track record in the detection and dismantling of methamphetamine labs by tracking pseudoephedrine sales.”
On the other hand, opponents of the bill argue that there are already regulations meant to contain damage done by illegal BHO labs, ones that do so without hampering the legal cannabis industry.
Ruben Honig, executive director of the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force, a cannabis business interest group, told LA Weekly that “the most important thing jurisdictions can do is license extraction using volatile solvents, so that only vetted, professional manufacturers undertake this difficult task,” adding that, “The state was smart to include extraction using volatile solvents as a license type, and we hope all other jurisdictions will follow suit.”
The bill’s sponsor, Jim Cooper, is known locally for his support of laws which favor law enforcement over the civil rights of citizens. Since last December, Cooper has co-authored or introduced bills which would add peace officers to the list of groups protected by hate crimes, broaden the crimes that would warrant taking DNA samples and fingerprints from suspects, and give schools the right to examine students’ electronic communications without a warrant. He is a former Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy.
Photo via Flickr user miheco