Part of a proposed law to regulate California’s medical marijuana industry would prohibit “dabs” – highly potent cannabis concentrates. Senate Bill 1262, introduced by state Senator Lou Correa (D), reads, “Under no circumstance shall a physician and surgeon recommend butane hash oil [BHO].”
The California Police Chiefs Association, sponsors of SB 1262, explained to Senator Correa that the provision be interpreted as “...physicians may not recommend high concentrate derivatives such as Butane Hash Oil (a chemical derivative of marijuana that can contain 80% THC) to anyone.”
A spokesman for the group told LA Weekly that the bill is intended to eliminate all legal sales of concentrates. “There's no medicinal value to a high-THC concentrates like butane hash oil, and we don't believe it's part of the array of legitimate medical marijuana. It didn't even exist as a product in 1996, and it's not appropriate to be included in what voters thought they were voting on with Proposition 215 in 1996.”
The bill to ban dabs is being justified as a safety measure because the method for creating BHO can lead to explosions when conducted by amateurs.
However, if cannabis and its concentrates were fully legalized for recreational purposes, proper industry regulation and oversight could ensure that cannabinoid extraction could be done professionally in a controlled environment.
Considering that concentrates currently account for 40 percent of sales in some California dispensaries, there surely are some patients benefiting from oils and wax as opposed to traditional cannabis flowers.
Dale Gieringer of California NORML responded by pointing out there are no currently established medical guidelines for determining the best dosage, delivery method and cannabinoid content of medical marijuana, and until such related studies are conducted, a ban on concentrates is unwarranted.
Gieringer bluntly added: “This bill is something that the cops have wanted to do for a long time … They want to crack down on medical marijuana. This is their vehicle for doing it.”
Ironically, police organizations in California were adamantly opposed to any previous attempts at dispensary regulation, which would assign an unwanted “legitimacy” to the medical pot industry. However, with an opportunity to outlaw concentrates, the cops are suddenly supportive of medicinal cannabis regulations.