Hash oil felony bill moves forward at state Capitol

A state House panel gave initial approval Thursday to a bill that would make it a felony to produce homemade marijuana concentrates, such as hash oil.

The lawmakers unanimously approved the bill.

Lawmakers heard about the dangers of using explosive gases, such as butane, to make hash oil. The bill would ban home use of those gases to make the oil. The measure was prompted by a rash of explosions and injuries resulting from amateur hash oil production.

“We've got people that are blowing up houses, apartments, hotel rooms because they're making hash oil through a butane extraction process that's very flammable, very dangerous,” said Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, a bill sponsor.

Foote's bill would make the unlicensed manufacturing of hash oil a Class 2 drug felony, punishable by up to eight years behind bars. Some critics of the legislation say a felony is too severe and that the marijuana industry benefits from banning home production.