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Task Force Takes Close Look At Hash Process Blamed For Explosions

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Hash (credit: CBS)

Hash (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – The task force on Amendment 64 will make its first recommendations to the governor on Tuesday. It will release 29 proposals on how to regulate marijuana in the state.

The first set of recommendations will not cover what’s known as “hash,” but more work will take place before the end of the month.

Making hash, a concentrated form of pot, is believed to be the cause of a massive explosion at a house on South Ammons Street in Lakewood Saturday night that sent four men to the hospital.

The task force is still taking a close look at the hash process. Members on the committee know that making hash can have some significant risks, especially if it’s done incorrectly. That appears to have been the case in Lakewood.

Even industry insiders say the creation of hash can be dangerous when using butane or other flammables.

“People who want to take shortcuts or who see this as an easy way of producing hash can endanger themselves, the house that they are in, and other people ultimately with the end product,” marijuana advocate Wanda James said.

It’s not hard to see what happens when hash production goes wrong. There are dozens of videos online where the maker’s products explode. Four people in the Lakewood shed suffered burns in this explosion.

“We were thinking about this long before this unfortunate incident,” Christian Sederberg with the Marijuana Task Force said.

An image from the scene after the explosion in Lakewood  (credit: CBS)

An image from the scene after the explosion in Lakewood (credit: CBS)

Sederberg is on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s committee drafting regulations for Amendment 64. He says hash will not go away. Unlike California and Oregon, who have banned the manufacturing of butane hash, Colorado will try to regulate it to shut out the black market.

“If we don’t have a regulated system for these products people will continue making them in their home and you’ll see more incidents where this occurs,” Sederberg said.

Sederberg says the explosion in Lakewood shows how dangerous hash production can be. Families with children were living next door. He says the governor’s board will have to find a way to make operations like it unattractive.

“This isn’t a problem that just popped up. It’s a problem that’s been around for a while and it will continue to be around until people can go to a regulated store and purchase it,” he said.

The regulations could still outlaw make-shift labs. The case against the men involved here will be reviewed this week.

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