Today the Colorado Springs City Council passed an ordinance banning home concentrate production using flammable gasses and liquids. This does not include water-based hash extraction (water, ice, dry ice). From the draft:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture marijuana concentrates, including, but not limited to the production of “Hash Oil” by the use of a compressed flammable gas, flammable gas, flammable liquid or combustible liquid as a solvent in the extraction of tetrahydrocannabinol and/or other cannabinoids in a residential setting within the city of Colorado Springs.”
No exception for using alcohol or ethanol as we have in the state law HB1305. I’m waiting to see a copy of the final version of the ordinance for details and effective date.
Unfortunately, we didn’t hear about this attack until the last minute, although I doubt there was much we could do considering the makeup of the council along with the prohibitionist mayor who used to be Colorado’s Attorney General.
This is my letter to the City Council sent this morning prior to the meeting:
As a medical marijuana patient and advocate, I am quite concerned about the devastating effect imposing the ban on concentrate production would have on patients in Colorado Springs, particularly because it includes “flammable liquid” and “combustible liquid.” I assume this includes alcohol, but might it also be interpreted to include butter, olive oil and other safe culinary infusion methods?
Yes, there are some dangers in working with grain alcohol, but they are significantly less than with other solvents. Chefs and home cooks use alcohol in cooking every day. Some people make their own herbal tinctures and essential oils using techniques requiring alcohol. Alcohol, a commonly used fuel for camping stoves, is lauded for its safety.
The restrictions and penalties for home distilling of alcohol, which we know is a danger, are minor. First offenses incur a $250 fine. It’s interesting to note that there is an underground distilling community in Colorado. (http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_25776672/meyer-why-cant-we-distill-our-homes)
A restriction on the use of alcohol is not about public safety, but is about continuing prohibition. C’mon! We allow bars and restaurants to light shots of alcohol on fire and hand them to drunk people! In my mind, that is a much greater public safety risk.
The marijuana industry is happy to encourage this ordinance in an attempt to eliminate competition, but the truth is, the industry is not in a position to supply the patients who desperately need concentrated oil for treatment of epilepsy, cancer and other serious conditions. It is imperative that patients and caregivers continue to have the ability to produce their own medicine.
The state has already addressed this issue with HB15-1305 which focused on explosive gasses and clearly excluded alcohol and other safe extraction methods. In light of this, does Colorado Springs really need more restrictions?
Limiting the use of alcohol in producing what is a now legal substance, marijuana, is a serious over-reach that will likely unfairly impede the ability of many patients to produce the medicine they require.
Please vote no on this ordinance, or at least amend it to clearly exclude the use of alcohol and any other culinary methods.
Thank you for your consideration. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.
Founder / Executive Director
Cannabis Patients Alliance
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