'Hash Oil' Explosions Increasing In Colorado

Hash oil, pictured here, is a cannabis product that can be smoked, vaporized and eaten . Like all cannabis products, it is now legal in Colorado, but making it involves spraying pot with highly flammable, odorless butane gas, which has led to explosions. (Andres Rodriguez/Flickr)

Public safety officials in Colorado say they’re responding to a growing number of explosions connected to the making of hash oil, a cannabis concentrate that can, along with marijuana, now be legally sold in Colorado.

But making this hash oil involves spraying pot with highly flammable, odorless butane gas. Five months into the year, there have been more than 30 butane hash oil explosions in Colorado that have severely burned people and sent them to the hospital.

That’s already three times the number of explosions last year in Colorado. And prosecutors in the state are taking different approaches to charging people for causing explosions.

Sgt. Pat Long of the Thornton Police Department, who trains first responders on how to recognize signs of butane hash oil manufacture, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the problem of hash oil explosions in that Colorado.


  • Sgt. Pat Long of the Thornton, Colo. Police Department.
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