On Friday, August 4, 2017, an explosion erupted in a quiet apartment complex in Woodland Hills, California, seriously injuring one person. Residents of the gated community were shocked to find out that their neighbor was using his unit as a marijuana honey oil lab.
Marijuana Honey Oil, which is a derivative of marijuana, extracts THC from the plant (which is the active drug in marijuana). Butane burners are used to extract the THC, which makes this volatile process subject to explosions.
In California, under Prop 64, adults 21 and older are permitted to possess or cultivate concentrated cannabis for recreational use (such as honey oil), as long as it’s 4 grams or less. Anything more than that amount is a crime punished under Health and Safety Code 11358 – Cultivation of Marijuana – and is classified as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in county jail.
Possession with intent to sell is a separate issue. A person can legally sell concentrated cannabis in California if they have a state license. If they do not, selling concentrated cannabis is usually punished as a misdemeanor if convicted, a person can face up to 6 months in county jail and/or a $500 fine.
Possession with intent to sell without a license can be punished as a felony. In the case mentioned above, the offender also used a toxic chemical – butane – to produce the honey oil, and is therefore guilty of chemical extraction of a controlled substance under California Health and Safety Code 11358- Cultivation of Marijuana. If he is convicted, he will likely face:
- $50,000 fine and
- State Prison sentence of up to 7 years.
Additionally, Federal Law punishes cultivation, possession with intent to sell, and/or sale of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with:
- Up to 5 years in Federal Prison and
- A fine of up to $250,000
Penalties increase with larger amounts of marijuana or previous drug convictions.
If you or someone you know has been charged of illegal possession of, possession with intent to sell, or chemical extraction of marijuana, contact us 24 hours a day at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Westwood, and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.
Photo by residents courtesy of LAPD