Category Archives: California Law

Solvent extraction definition better but not fixed

Honey oil, hash oil and solvent extract are all legal for adults and qualified patients to possess in California. The state’s solvent extraction ban, Health and Safety Code 11379.6, was originally written to prevent methamphetamine production. It is the process that is banned, not the product or its consumption.

Health and Safety Code 11379.6, People v. Bergen 

The broad language of the law has plagued people who try to use safe extraction methods like closed loop solvent extraction, CO2 and even alcohol-evaporative concentrates. This is due to the definition in the law.

Legislation has improved this definition, fortunately, in Proposition 64 voter initiative and Senate Bill 94, and it now reads: 

11362.3. (b) (3) “Volatile solvent” means a solvent that is or produces a flammable gas or vapor that, when present in the air in sufficient quantities, will create explosive or ignitable mixtures.

We expect that home extraction labs will fade away as commercial production and access become more available, but there will always be a few people who can’t learn from others’ mistakes. Be on the watch for more efforts to go after butane supplies

Here is a link to a list of solvent flash points and boiling temperatures

Marijuana should be removed from the controlled substances list 

The real problem is that keeping cannabis in the controlled substances list ties it to the extraction penalties for more toxic and dangerous processes. The real solution is to remove cannabis from the list and treat extraction as a commercial enterprise and set safety standards for home production. 

 

Brown vetoes bill to limit access to butane

The California legislature has passed a bill that will regulate and restrict access to the highly purified butane supply that is used to make BHO, butane hash oil or butane honey oil.


Update: Brown vetoes Butane Bill

Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1120, which would regulate butane as a controlled substance. Governor Brown’s full statement was as follows:

I empathize with the author’s intent to address the tragic explosions that can occur at illegal butane hash-oil production sites.  Unfortunately, I believe this bill takes a very expansive approach that may not ultimately solve the problem.  The Department of Public Health is currently working on regulations that will be finalized at the end of this year that move this type of production out of the shadows and into a safe and regulated environment.  I believe any additional legislation aimed at curbing illegal butane use should be more narrowly tailored, and not place a uniform limit on an industry that has many other legitimate uses.

This is good news for butane manufacturers, wholesalers, resellers and retailers, who will not be forced to acquire customer information, maintain substantial records or coordinate with the Department of Justice.


Assembly Bill AB 1120 would have allowed those with commercial extraction licenses to get butane for closed loop extraction and allow people to refuel their lighters and dab-torches. The text of the bill follows: 

Health and Safety Code 11107.2. (a) It is unlawful for a manufacturer, wholesaler, reseller, retailer, or other person or entity to sell to any one customer more than 600 milliliters of nonodorized butane in any 30-day period. …
(d) The limitations in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to any of the following transactions:
(1) Butane sold to manufacturers, wholesalers, resellers, or retailers solely for the purpose of resale.
(2) Butane sold to a person for use in a lawful commercial enterprise, including, but not limited to, a volatile solvent extraction activity licensed under Division 10 (commencing with Section 26000) of the Business and Professions Code or a medical cannabis collective or cooperative described in subdivision (b) of Section 11362.775 of this code, operating in compliance with all applicable state licensing requirements and local regulations governing that type of business.
(3) The sale of lighters, torch lighters or other appliances, or lighter refill canisters that contain or use nonodorized butane and contain less than 150 milliliters of nonodorized butane.

The registry was intended to prevent large scale sales of butane to the public and appears to be an effort to block home “BHO blasting,”  to make resin extract, which has a legacy of exploding garages and homes while driving consumption of the solvent-extracts.

California’s solvent extract ban, HSC 11369, was originally written to prevent methamphetamine production. However, the broad language of the law has plagued people who try to use safe extraction methods like closed loop solvent extraction, CO2 and even alcohol-evaporative concentrates. This is due to the definition in the law.

The legislature has recently improved this definition, fortunately, in Senate Bill 94.

11362.3. (b) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(3) “Volatile solvent” means a solvent that is or produces a flammable gas or vapor that, when present in the air in sufficient quantities, will create explosive or ignitable mixtures.

We expect that home extraction labs will fade away as commercial production and access become more available, but there will always be a few people who can’t learn from others’ mistakes. Be on the watch for more efforts to go after butane supplies. 

Searches, transportation, open container infraction

California Health and Safety Code 11362.1.

(c) “Marijuana and marijuana products involved in any way with conduct deemed lawful by this section are not contraband nor subject to seizure, and no conduct deemed lawful by this section shall constitute the basis for detention, search, or arrest.”

HSC 11362.3.

(a) Nothing in Section 11362.1 shall be construed to permit any person to:

(4) Possess an open container or open package of marijuana or marijuana products while driving, operating, or riding in the passenger seat or compartment of a motor vehicle, boat, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle used for transportation.” Continue reading Searches, transportation, open container infraction

Summary of California’s new marijuana laws

Effective November 9, 2016:
Here are California’s adult use marijuana laws

prop64newlawschartcrop

Learn more about Proposition 64 by reviewing this link. Continue reading Summary of California’s new marijuana laws

California marijuana laws HS 11357 to 11362.5, 11479

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE – HSC

Div. 10. Uniform Controlled Substances Act [11000 – 11651]
Chapt. 6. Offenses and Penalties [11350 – 11392]

ARTICLE 2. Marijuana [11357 – 11362.9]

This post has most of the Health and Safety Code laws regarding marijuana, the Prop. 215 medical defense and destruction of bulk evidence, but other sections on my site include the SB 420 MMPA and AB 266 MCRSA medical marijuana programs. These are the statutes in this post: Health and Safety 11357, 11358, 11359, 11360, 11361, 11362, 11362.5, 11479

Continue reading California marijuana laws HS 11357 to 11362.5, 11479

SB 420: Medical Marijuana Program statutes

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE – HSC

DIVISION 10. UNIFORM CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT [11000 – 11651]
Chapter 6. Offenses and Penalties [11350 – 11392]

medical marijuana dispensary ARTICLE 2.5. Medical Marijuana Program [11362.7 – 11362.85] 

This section of the code created the voluntary state ID card program, the individual safe harbor and the collective defense. Continue reading SB 420: Medical Marijuana Program statutes

Hash oil, BHO, chemical solvent extraction laws

Solvent extracts and concentrates are covered by a number of California laws and case law.

Propositions 215 and 64 both included extracts but did not remove cannabis from the controlled substances list.  The Health and Safety Code 11379.6 “Meth House” statute, below, includes cannabis because it is on the list of substances in HS 11054, but since 2015 HS 11379.6(d) specifically mentions cannabis extraction. For many years that has meant BHO was legal to possess but not to make. The People v Bergen decision held that it is the process, not the product, that is banned. People v Luna established the prosecutor’s burden of proof. When the legislature passed MCRSA, the medical marijuana regulations, it included a license to make volatile extracts. The following year, a provision was added to HS 11362.775 for an interim local license before the MCRSA licenses issue. Prop. 64 mirrors that licensing process for nonmedical use and modified the legal issues on extraction by including in HS 11362.3(a)(6) the term “volatile” rather than simply “chemical extraction.”   Continue reading Hash oil, BHO, chemical solvent extraction laws

Physicians’ First Amendment right to recommend cannabis

medical marijuana dispensaryConant v. Walters: Physicians have a First Amendment right to discuss cannabis with patients — not to help them obtain it.

The order enjoins the federal government from either revoking a physician’s license to prescribe controlled substances or conducting an investigation of a physician that might lead to such revocation, where the basis for the government’s action is solely the physician’s professional “recommendation” of the use of medical marijuana.  Continue reading Physicians’ First Amendment right to recommend cannabis

Luna: Hash oil manufacturing case needs all components

People v Luna: “while the [chemical extraction] manufacturing process need not be complete, it must at least be started.”

“[W]hile the [solvent extraction] manufacturing process need not be complete, it must at least be started.” … “At the time appellant was arrested, he had no ability to begin manufacturing hashish, which expert opinion established is an instantaneous as opposed to an incremental process. In order to begin manufacturing hashish, appellant still had numerous steps to accomplish, including assembling the components of the manufacturing device… ”  Continue reading Luna: Hash oil manufacturing case needs all components