Brian Wayne Tipton and Brian Daniel Woodson seem to have a lot in common. Both are white men in their late 30’s residing in the remote hill country overlooking the Russian River Valley south of Ukiah, and overlooking the 101 Freeeway and the town of Hopland. Both were also growing marijuana with plans to convert the processed pot into concentrated cannabis in the form of honey oil, also known as hash oil, wax, dabs and other names. Converting marijuana into concentrated oil makes a potent, resinous product that can then be smoked, vaporized, or ingested. The process also uses butane extraction, which has been known to cause fires and explosions resulting in severe burns, and even death.
Brian Tipton, 37, appears to have been farther along in the process, at least this season. On Thursday, April 23, deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Marijuana Eradication Team had obtained an arrest warrant for Tipton. According to a department press release, he was suspected of cultivating marijuana on the property. They arrived at his home on Adobe Creek Road in the hills southeast of Hopland, about halfway to Kelseyville in neighboring Lake County. While he was arrested pursuant to the warrant, they found evidence of his honey oil lab.
The deputies, while detaining Tipton, secured a search warrant to investigate the property. They found an active butane honey oil lab, a half pound of concentrated cannabis in the form of honey oil, shake marijuana ready for the extraction process, and 62 growing marijuana plants. He also had a digital scale and $20,000 in cash, apparently from previous sales of his potent product. He was arrested for cultivation of marijuana and manufacturing a controlled substance. Bail was set at $60,000, which he posted awaiting his arraignment at the Mendocino Superior Court on May 22.
Five days after Tipton’s arrest, on Tuesday, April 28, the Marijuana Eradication Team had obtained a search warrant for a property in the hills northeast of Hopland, along Shigom Road, and in the city limits of Ukiah. They found Brian Woodson, 39, and an active marijuana grow of 737 plants and three pounds of processed marijuana. He had the materials for a butane honey oil lab in site, but none of the product was there, at least at that time. He did have a digital scale at hand ready for business.
Woodson was arrested on charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and manufacture of a controlled substance. He was released on $50,000 bail, with a court date of May 28.