Butane extraction was already risky business in California. An existing law originated to curb methamphetamine production outlawed all controlled substances manufactured with a chemical. The law was then stretched to give the same penalties to concentrate extractors using butane. According to federal regulations, cannabis and its derivatives technically qualify as a controlled substance. And solvents such as butane qualify as chemicals. Thus, presto chango, the meth law became a BHO law without having to do any actual legislation.

As it stands now, a person convicted of butane hash oil extraction could earn themselves three to seven years in prison. But a new stipulation, signed by Governor Jerry Brown Friday and voted in unanimously by the state senate in June, makes such an extraction an aggravated crime if it occurs “within 300 feet of an occupied residence or any structure where another person was present.” The aggravating factor will force judges to lean toward maximum sentencing for those convicted and could also serve as grounds for deportation if the offender is a noncitizen.

The bill’s author, Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), drafted it in an attempt to slow the BHO-related explosions that have been getting so much media attention in recent years. “Not only is BHO or methamphetamine manufacturing illegal but it is an extremely dangerous and highly volatile activity that can result in large explosions, causing extreme bodily injury, death and property damage,” Mendoza said.

The bill will be effective beginning January of 2016.


Photo via Releaf