REDMOND, Ore. - An illegal Prineville "butane honey oil" lab raided this week, with two arrests, is just the latest in a growing list of concern to Central Oregon law enforcement.
“We are seeing it more and more, said Redmond police Lt. Curtis Chambers.
" We are running across extract, and people in possession of extract, that was not obtained through either a recreational or medical dispensary,” he said.
Making butane honey oil, or BHO, at home is on the rise in Oregon. It’s illegal partly because of the danger associated with it.
Butane honey or hash oil (BHO) is made by using liquid butane to extract high concentrations of THC from a marijuana plant. The “dabs” of oil can be vaporized and inhaled without the pungent smell of weed and produce a strong high for even longtime cannabis use with a strong tolerance for the drug.
“Butane is heavier than air," Chambers said. "So it sinks down to the ground to the lowest point, then it will slowly build up over time, and then it just takes one ignition source to ignite that butane.”
It’s a dangerous trend. According to the Oregon Burn Center, there were seven confirmed burn victims tied to BHO between 2014 and 2015. Between July 2015 and July 2016, that number more than quadrupled, to 30 victims.
Most of the time, law enforcement agencies won’t know about BHO labs until it’s too late. Chambers said there isn’t usually an odor associated with making BHO, so people passing by or even living next door to an operation would most likely never know.