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Deputies make hash oil arrests

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The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office announced Nov. 17 that deputies had arrested three individuals who were suspected of being involved in or near an alleged home hash oil production at a rural Arroyo Grande home.

One man was arrested on suspicion of manufacture and sale of a controlled substance, another was arrested for an outstanding warrant, and a 20-year old woman was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment after detectives with the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit found a 10-month-old child sleeping on a mattress in a bedroom. Two children were also at the home: one 12-year-old and one 15-year-old.

Butane hash oil is a form of concentrated cannabis made when butane is used as a solvent to strip the psychoactive compounds from marijuana leaves and stems, resulting in a waxy, sticky substance.

Photos taken by the Sheriff’s Office show a room where stems and other marijuana remnants, wax paper, jars, and smoking implements were cluttered around a bed the 10-month-old was alleged to have been sleeping in. Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Tony Cipolla told New Times that the child tested positive for marijuana, and the department was waiting for test results to see if any other substances were detected. Cipolla said detectives suspected the makeshift lab was set up on the back porch, where butane canisters were found, as well as furniture that had visible fire damage on the upholstery.

Hash oil, or dabs, has seen a recent rise in popularity among cannabis users, resulting in an increase in the in-home production of butane hash. It’s difficult to tell how prolific the process actually is because home hash oil labs aren’t typically discovered until after the process causes a fire or explosion.

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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