Police charge man with reckless endangerment in hash oil blast
Homer Police last week charged a Homer man with two counts of reckless endangerment in a hash-oil explosion where two children were present. Cory Reynolds, 29, also faces a felony charge of third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. Under Alaska law, a commercial cannabis license is required to manufacture marijuana products, including concentrates, Alaska Marijuana Control Office director Erika McConnell said in an email.
In an email, Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said no one suffered injuries. According to a criminal complaint, two children at the home were exposed to what police described as “noxious smoke.” The fire did singe Reynolds’ hair and beard.
Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters on Feb. 6 at about 10:40 a.m. went to Reynolds’ Tamara Street home for a report of an explosion there. Firefighters found the home filled with smoke and residents airing it out. In a press release, the fire department said flammable vapors from hash oil extraction caused the explosion.
“We don’t know the scientific reason for the explosion,” Robl said. “Normally they are due to too much heat and poor gas management.
In a criminal complaint, Homer Police Officer Jim Knott wrote that Reynolds told him he had a can of Lysol next to the stove while he was cooking and it exploded. Knott wrote that an investigation showed Reynolds had been making hashish upstairs in the kitchen when butane used to manufacture it ignited. Police found nine empty butane cans and a tube containing marijuana buds. Knott said two toddlers were in the area of smoke and he told Reynolds to get his children away from the smoke.
Reynolds gave police pieces of wax paper with a brownish substance on it that Knott said looked like hashish and later tested positive for THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the ingredient in marijuana that gives the plant its high.
Under Alaska’s commercial cannabis regulations, licensed manufacturing facilities can make hashish or other cannabis oils, but extraction done with flammable gases like butane must be done in a closed system with adequate ventilation and inspected by fire marshals. Hash oil also can be extracted using other, safer processes like screens or steam distillation.
Reynolds was released on a $500 performance bond and ordered not to possess, consume or use alcohol and illegal drugs. His next court date is March 12.
Reach Michael Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.