As the marijuana market continues to grow in popularity, acceptance and recognition, it is not surprising that a new drug trend has emerged. Well, it’s actually an old trend re-emerging. There is now a growing black market of hash oil once again. Hash oil is an extract taken from marijuana that addicts can ingest that provides a quick, long lasting high. What is even more alarming is that in some states selling hash oil is not illegal, although extracting the oil is illegal.
The mixed messages the public receives regarding marijuana and hash oil perpetuates the continued use of both these drugs. When it comes to hash oil, investigators are most concerned about the extraction process. People are beginning to establish hash oil labs throughout states like California. These labs are dangerous because they are often in motels or garages and involve highly flammable methods. In order to extract the hash oil from the marijuana, drug dealers have to use industrial-strength butane. The use of such a dangerous heat source has caused about twenty explosions and fires throughout San Diego County recently.
“Basically what we have is an amateurish, uncontrolled use of large amounts of explosives in enclosed or improperly vented spaces,” explained David Williams, who works for the San Diego County District Attorney. Not only is public property at risk, but people are putting themselves in dangerous situations as well. One man who was creating hash oil had his lab blow up and ran out of the motel engulfed in flames. First responders were able to rescue the man, but not after he sustained burns over most of his body.
Because of the extreme threat that hash oil labs present to the community, the DEA has stepped in and created a task force specifically designed to investigate these operations. Since its creation, the task force has investigated over fifty labs.
Hash oil can sell for $40 – 80 a gram, making it a lucrative business that many drug dealers think is worth the danger. Since the laws being unclear in some states, dealers have even become brazen enough to advertise hash oil to people. Some names that dealers advertise under are; honey oil, dabs, earwax and shatter. “Dabbing” is one of the terms most often associated with hash oil use.