West Midlands Fire Service is warning of the dangers of making cannabis-based ‘butane honey oil’.
A solvent such as butane is used in the cannabis oil extraction method. People who engage in the process run the very high risk of causing an explosion and fire, and of suffering extensive burns – as well as facing arrest, prosecution and jail.
It comes as two men, from Brierley Hill and Dudley, are today starting three-year jail terms after a rented house in Dudley was blown up last October. Both men suffered burns. They admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
Watch Commander Sean Tomkins, a fire investigator with West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS), said: “Although we have seen only a small number of suspected ‘honey oil’ incidents, it’s likely to be a growing issue. Those involved face very real dangers.
“Butane vapour can easily build up and impair the judgement of anyone in close proximity. It needs just one spark – from simply turning on a light, for example, or using a washing machine or kitchen appliance – to cause a forceful and potentially fatal explosion and fire.
“Whether the process is taking place in a house or a block of flats, the consequences could be catastrophic and widespread.
“It places neighbours and people nearby in danger, and presents huge safety risks to emergency responders including our firefighters.”
WMFS is urging wholesalers and retailers of butane to look out for bulk buyers and to report any suspicions to the police.
Property landlords are also being advised to be mindful of how their premises are being used.