New legislation proposed in the Rhode Island Senate would prevent medical marijuana patients and caregivers from using a flammable liquid to extract THC from marijuana plants, said state Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
Kilmartin filed the bill in the Senate, legislation that would allow compassion centers to use the flammable liquid but only within the rules and regulations that would be set by the Rhode Island Department of Health.
Butane Hash Oil, known as Shatter or BHO, is made by filling butane liquid through a tube containing marijuana. This resin mixture is put in a glass vial and the butane turns into gas. The result is concentrated THC resin, which can be lit and smoked. Kilmartin said the problem is the butane gas is highly flammable.
Media stories have highlighted explosions and fires in Colorado due to the manufacturing of BHO in homes settings. There were reports of 32 explosions last year compared to 12 in 2013.
"We only need to look to what Colorado, Oregon and Washington State have experienced to know how dangerous and potentially deadly the manufacture of BHO can be if not properly regulated,” Kilmartin said. “We need to get a handle on this public safety problem before anyone is injured, or worse, killed.”
Police in Rhode Island have arrested individuals believed to be producing BHO in residential areas, Kilmartin said.