MERCED – It wasn’t just dinner this guy was fixing. A 23-year-old Merced man is behind bars after his attempt to cook hash oil resulted in an explosion yesterday just before 8 pm.
Michael Ward was allegedly cooking marijuana into hash at his home on West 21st Street – just a block away from both the Merced County Sheriff’s Department and the Merced Police Department.
The explosion occurred in the home’s laundry room, apparently knocking out multiple windows and causing structural damage. Neighbors hearing the boom thought a water heater had exploded, or a shotgun had been fired, according to local media reports.
Converting marijuana into “hash oil” or “honey oil” involves the use of butane gas, and has frequently resulted in explosions, fires, injuries, and even death. The resultant liquid form of the narcotic is said to be much more potent, and can be inhaled, vaporized or smoked. It is valued much higher than processed weed marijuana, apparently making the risky process appealing to some.
Ward was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of burn wounds before being taken into custody. He was charged with possession of concentrated cannabis and manufacturing a controlled substance.
Merced Sun-Star: Hash-oil explosion in Merced injures 1, police say