Eleven Firefighters Injured in Explosion at Downtown LA Hash Lab
Eleven firefighters were injured Saturday evening after responding to an explosion that occurred at a hash oil manufacturing lab in Downtown L.A. Three of them are in critical condition. A criminal probe is now underway.
A total of 240 firefighters responded to a “mayday” distress call at Smoke Tokes Wholesale Distributor, a supplier for butane honey oil near Little Tokyo that also operates a nearby dispensary called Smoke Tokes. The explosion occurred around 6:20 p.m. after firefighters entered the building. The fire, which spread to surrounding buildings, was extinguished at about 8:08 p.m.
Butane honey oil is a potent concentrate obtained through the extraction of cannabis and typically consumed through vaping devices. One popular extraction method involves the flammable solvent, butane.
The extraction of cannabis using butane or other volatile solvents is illegal in California. That’s because honey oil labs can be extremely volatile. Previous lab explosions have occurred in Sacramento, San Diego, Pasadena, and Fresno.
In 2017, a butane supplier in Los Angeles pleaded guilty to drug charges for selling butane to a number of wholesalers and retailers for the illegal extraction of hash oil. One of the buyers listed in this Department of Justice press release is a company called Smoke Tokes Inc.