With the legalization of medical marijuana in California, popular edibles and exotic forms of marijuana are popping up. But not all of them are legal. If a form of marijuana is produced using solvents, their manufacture in California is a felony. These illegally produced extracts may be for sale in legal dispensaries and be misrepresented to buyers as legal.
Shatter, a smooth, clear solid, is the purest and most potent form of marijuana. The extraction process removes lipids, waxes, and fats, resulting in over 80% THC. Other solvent extracts such as Shatter have names like honey, hash oil, honey toast, earwax, honeycomb, and ‘tane.
These forms of cannabis extract are made by grinding marijuana or using marijuana buds, putting it in a tube, and pushing butane gas through it. The extract is then washed with alcohol or other methods to remove the smell of butane as well as remove the plant waxes and altering it’s appearance. It’s then cooked into a solid after which it can be snapped off into grams. Users take hits, called “dabs,” and some even vaporize it using e-cigarettes. According to the DEA, “One drop on a cigarette is equal to the effects of a single joint.”
Due to the way Shatter and other marijuana extracts are made, in California they’re illegal to make, sell, or possess. The California Health and Safety Code Section 11379.6(a) states: “Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance – shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years and by a fine up to $50,000.”
The phrase “by chemical extraction” is the key to its illegality since they use butane in the extraction process. Butane is also highly flammable resulting in apartments and houses burning, motels blowing up, and severe burns and death to people producing the highly profitable extracts.
There is also the risk of dangerous impurities resulting from the extraction process and other ingredients used. Butane exposure can result in neurotic effects as well as numerous other health problems. Because of all these dangers, many are suggesting that extracts such as Shatter should be made legal and be manufactured under controlled conditions.
Although it is legal for California residents to possess or produce concentrated forms of marijuana for personal and medical use, it is a felony offense to possess, produce, or sell, any concentrated cannabis product created using chemical solvents such as butane, and can result in jail time if convicted on these charges.
If you have been arrested for the illegal possession or production of marijuana extracts like Shatter, you need the experience of a criminal defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.