San Francisco law enforcement agents have taken two men 33-year-old and 26-year-old (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) into custody on suspicion of manufacturing hash oil in an illegal lab in their Miraloma Park home. Upon conducting a search of the residence, police found various tools used to make hash oil, mainly an electrical bypass, and evidence of a ‘honey oil’ creation set up. They also found approximately 84 marijuana plants, 82 bottles of hash oil, and about 10 pounds of dried and processed marijuana. Both have been arrested on several different charges: 2 counts of selling marijuana, manufacturing a controlled substance, stealing utilities, maintaining premises where illegal drugs were being used and/or sold, and marijuana cultivation.
California law dictates that all parts of the cannabis plant are considered illegal. This includes the seeds, resin, oil, salts, mixtures, and other compounds that are derived from the plant itself. The laws concerning hash oil in California are, on the other hand, confusing. Usually referred to as ‘honey oil,’ ‘wax,’ ‘shatter,’ or ‘dabs,’ butane hash oil (BHO) is really a concentrated form of marijuana (about 80% THC) and has enjoyed quite a bit of popularity lately. Making BHO became illegal to manufacture in 2008 (see The People v. Bergen). Now, it’s legal for pot clubs to sell it and legal for medical marijuana patients to possess it, but it’s still illegal to make it (CA Health and Safety Code 11379.6) manufacturing drugs and narcotics). This law was originally intended to criminalize the creation of methamphetamines, but it has been interpreted to cover the creation of hash oil as well. In other words, the same individual could buy hash oil at a pot club legally, but if they are manufacturing hash oil just down the street, they will face up to 7 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $50,000.