Despite laws legalizing marijuana cultivation, distribution, use, and possession, a Colorado attorney general's office says making homemade hash oil is still not legal under state and local law.
According to reports, Eugene Christensen, a Colorado resident from Mesa County, was recently charged with arson, reckless endangerment and the manufacturing of hash oil, also known as "BHO", "shatter", "BHO shatter", or "dabs". The hash oil manufacturing charge is the one that Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is having the biggest problem with.
For those that are not aware, BHO production has been increasingly popular throughout the marijuana industry both for medicinal patients and recreational users alike. BHO shatter involves the process of extracting active THC chemicals usually in combination with a solvent, from marijuana flowers, and then evaporating the extracted substance, to form a thick glob, which is then dried. A whole industry has been devoted to the production of BHO, including popular BHO accessories such as dab rigs
and wax vape pens
which can be used in the consumption of the substance.
Christen's attorney argues that since Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 back in 2012, which legalizes not only the possession of marijuana concentrate but also the processing of the plant, the original state law prohibiting the manufacturing of marijuana concentrate is null and void. Unlike California's Compassionate Use Act however, which was the cause of a recently reversed case in California which ultimately legalized the use and production of homemade hash oil in the state, Colorado's Amendment 64 is different.
John Suthers and others from the attorney general's office claim that Amendment 64 exempts hash oil production from the legal safety net since the definition of marijuana in the amendment excludes "oil". Suther's bases his claim on specific terms and conditions laid out in the amendment such as the notice that the term marijuana "does not include industrial hemp, nor does it include fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake made from the seeds of the plant ..."
This part of the amendment is what Suthers and his team are resting much of their argument on, as well as the rising number of home accidents that have been occurring due to amateur hash oil production at home.
Now courts will decide whether or not homemade hash oil production will be accepted in Colorado, even though people such as Christensen, had been led to believe that Amendment 64 had hash oil production covered. Christensen faces a Class 3 drug felony, coming with a steep punishment of two to four years max in federal prison if Amendment 64 proves invalid.