Butane honey oil lab busts a continuous occurrence in Fresno County

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's a growing threat with explosive consequences: butane honey oil manufacturing.

"I think there has been an uptick in the labs that are out there due to the legalization of marijuana," said Sgt. James Dunn.

Fresno County Sheriff's sergeant James Dunn is part of the High Impact investigation team.

RELATED: Police discover honey oil lab at Clovis home

He says numbers have stayed consistent over the last five years in 2017 Fresno County detectives seized 10 labs and in 2018 that number grew to 14.

There were a total of 11 burn victims over those two years, including last November when a 1-year-old was hospitalized with second and third-degree burns over most of his body.

The drug task force and HIIT have uncovered five labs in just this month of February.

RELATED: Three large-scale honey oil labs discovered in East Central Fresno

"The cost of going to a shop compared to the low cost of making it at home with certain devices that most people have easy access to," Sgt. Dunn said.

The most recent discovery was Tuesday in Clovis, where police, the DOJ and HIDTA team seized more than 10 pounds of marijuana, honey oil and 34 hundred cans of butane.

Butane honey oil or hash oil is marijuana extract heated with a butane torch. The levels of THC in honey oil create a longer more intense high. The wax is often used in portable vaporizers.

RELATED: Walls blown out after home honey oil lab explodes in Madera

While possession of marijuana and butane isn't illegal in California, the process of manufacturing honey oil is.

As for signs to look out for in your neighborhood, "a lot of butane cans or smelling strong chemical odors," said Sgt. Dunn.
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