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Officials investigating butane hash oil explosion in Commerce Township

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Posted at 2:42 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 14:42:50-05

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Officials are investigating after a butane hash oil explosion in Commerce Township.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office reports that deputies and firefighters responded to a call in the 2000 block of Bass Lake Road for an unattached garage at a residence that was engulfed in flames.

Upon arrival, deputies encountered a man who was standing at the edge of the residence and had severe burns to his face, upper torso and lower arms.

Officials say the fire was the result of an explosion and the man had been in the garage at the time. He was taken to the hospital.

The evidence recovered at the scene, officials say, determined there was a butane hash oil laboratory in the unattached garage. Butane hash oil labs are used for extracting THC from marijuana, which results in a very high potency form of THC which can be made into waxes, oils, and honeys.

“We have seen an increase of these types of explosions recently, almost all in residential neighborhoods,” said Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard in a press release. “While marijuana is legal in Michigan, the law is clear that butane extractions are prohibited from occurring in residential homes. However, the legislature refuses to enact penalties for this dangerous prohibited behavior which continues to put our neighborhoods at risk. Currently, extraction is supposed to only occur with a medical or recreational license which is approved by the state. Extracting butane hash oil is extremely dangerous and has resulted in exploding structures and severe injuries. Now that there is widespread access and choices for medical and recreational marijuana, the legislature needs to take all of marijuana production activity out of neighborhoods with clear policy and penalties. They need to step up before another explosion or dangerous situation occurs.”