California wax makers may stop favoring butane as a solvent if a bill proposed in the state assembly passes. The legislation, introduced by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-Dublin), would require butane buyers to supply an ID and limit the amount they can purchase in a month to 13.5 fluid ounces.

The limitation, of course, is in consideration of the rise in butane extraction-related explosions. “They cause more deaths and burns and have left hundreds of people including children hospitalized so we are looking at how we can reduce this danger to public safety,” said Baker.

Though extracting with chemical solvents is already illegal in the state, and another pending bill might upgrade penalties for blasting, Baker’s legislation expresses the frustrations officials and lawmakers are having with the rise of butane explosions and the injuries relating to them. A recent article in the Sacramento Bee on the butane limitation bill cited the case of two adolescent boys who were recently severely burned in their uncle’s BHO lab, sustaining injuries that required extensive surgeries and skin grafts.

Though passing Baker’s law could curb blasting in the state, it’s also likely to have other effects, including bringing on an increase in the use of other solvents like such as propane, hexane, CO2, and isopropyl alcohol, some of which come with combustible dangers similar to butane.

The bill’s ratification would also likely casue the importing of butane from neighboring states, as well as black-market online shipping. The strict limitation could  even affect the way consumers vape hash oil, as dabbers not wanting to put their name on record as buying butane might switch to e-nails.

Baker’s legislation is a two-year bill, which means it has plenty of time to take into account other viewpoints including (if they’re inclined and want to speak openly) those who make a living off of hash oil extraction.

Parker Winship