When it comes to hash oil laws in Washington, the more things change the more they stay the same. A couple years ago, the recreational market outlawed concentrates while the medical marijuana fostered it. Now, after revisions to both the recreational and medical marijuana programs over the years, the two have switched places in regard to concentrates.

The wording of the original I-502 recreational legalization bill makes extract illegal unless it’s been infused into another substance, like an edible. “Marijuana extracts,
it reads, “such as hash, hash oil, shatter, and wax can be infused in products sold in a marijuana retail store, but RCW 69.50.354 does not allow the sale of extracts that are not infused in products. A marijuana extract does not meet the definition of a marijuana-infused product per RCW 69.50.101.” Meanwhile, the medical marijuana market was chock full of pure concentrates.

But on Friday, a new amendment to the medical cannabis program will go into effect with a slew of revisions to existing laws. KING 5 News reports that one of the new stipulations is a total ban on all butane extraction in medical products.

But by now the recreational laws have been reformed and butane extraction is now permitted in that market with a state board certification, forcing legal butane hash blasters to do-si-do across an imaginary line from medical production to recreational production if they want to stay legit.

BHO extractor Scott McKinley of Caviar Gold (not to be confused with the California’s medical marijuana provider Caviar Gold) told KING 5 that he used to make medicinal BHO, but to avoid going out of business, he got his lab 1-502 recreational certified because state licensed BHO production is now allowed under state law.

Is all that’s being accomplished a sweep of the dust from one end of the room to the other? The seemingly futile legislation does a few different things for the state. First, it pushes all BHO into a more thoroughly taxed segment of the marijuana market. It also may be a move that paves the way for the even more thorough overhaul of the medical marijuana program coming next year, which some observers say will essentially dissolve medical cannabis into the recreational market.

A likely unintended consequence of the medical BHO ban is that it will open the door for more black market blasters to make volatile batches of tane soup, to the detriment of people who like their concentrates clean and their residences not exploded.

Though butane will be off the table for medical extractors and all but a few licensed rec extractors, other solvents are still fair game.

Other changes to the state’s MMJ program that go into effect July 31 will include the addition of PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions and a crackdown on 420-specializing docs, which will shut down medical clinics whose sole function is to issue medical marijuana recommendations and require all physicians who issue more than 30 recommendations in a month to notify the state. More details can be found here.


Photo via Flickr user SldHD

Parker Winship