Kevin MacMillan

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April 17, 2014
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Truckee man, 54, arrested after hash-oil explosion at home

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A local man was arrested Wednesday after he was hurt in a house explosion caused when a marijuana hash oil operation backfired, officials said.

According to the Truckee Police Department, authorities responded at about 4:45 p.m. to a report of an explosion in a house in the Ponderosa Palisades subdivision, at 10463 Ponderosa Drive.

There, officers found James Douglas Hall, 54, with burns to his face and hands.

Also on scene were Hall’s girlfriend and her young child, who were in the house at the time of the explosion.

Neither the 7-year-old girl nor her mother were injured, TPD Capt. Rob Leftwich said Thursday.

The house sustained extensive damage. An investigation revealed the blast was the result of a butane honey oil extraction process.

Hall told police Wednesday he was using butane — often used in the manufacturing of hash or honey oil — to extract the chemical THC from marijuana, when fumes ignited.

In the home, officers found finished product with a street value of $1,200 to $1,500, several pounds of marijuana that had yet to be processed and over 1,000 empty cans of butane.

Hall was arrested on suspicion of possession of concentrated cannabis, manufacturing controlled substances with chemicals, and felony child endangerment. He was booked Wednesday evening at the Wayne Brown Facility in Nevada City on $35,000 bail.

According to police, Hall admitted to manufacturing and selling hash oil to cannabis clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The medical marijuana community might not like or agree with the analogy, but BHO (butane honey oil) is to marijuana what crack is to cocaine,” Leftwich said in a statement. “Putting the debate about medical use aside, there is no argument that the BHO extraction process is incredibly dangerous to everyone in the household.”

Wednesday’s incident marks the second reported hash-oil explosion in Truckee in the past 16 months.

According to police, BHO use and manufacturing is a “growing trend which is soon to reach epidemic proportions.”

“The truly disturbing trend is the growing number of teens and young adults who use BHO,” Leftwich said.

“... BHO (butane honey oil) is to marijuana what crack is to cocaine.”
TPD Capt. Rob Leftwich

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 22, 2014 05:36PM Published Apr 21, 2014 08:44AM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.