Monday, December 6, 2021

DEA pictures offer glimpse of industrial butane hash oil lab

Credit: DEA/Fox 5
Via San Diego TV station Fox 5, this news: 
EL CAJON, Calif. (CNS) – Federal agents this week raided and shuttered a large illicit marijuana-processing operation in an industrial area near Gillespie Field, seizing hundreds of pounds of cannabis and barrels of potentially explosive chemicals, authorities reported Friday.

The illegal drug lab in the 1400 block of Fayette Street in El Cajon was being used to process hash oil, a cannabis concentrate, via processes involving the highly flammable solvents butane and hexane, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

During the raid, DEA personnel impounded nearly 400 pounds of unprocessed marijuana, 150 pounds of chemically contaminated cannabis plant waste, 139 pounds of hash oil, sophisticated laboratory equipment and chemicals, including 55-gallon drums of hexane, the federal agency reported.

The agents also arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of illegally manufacturing a controlled substance. His name was not released.
I've never seen one of these butane hash oil labs before, but it looks reasonably professionalized. Of course, bluntly speaking, I don't know what one of these labs looks like, but it's not too different than a kilo-scale lab, and uses basically the same equipment. I'd love to understand if this lab was set up by a former pharma-type or not...

(55 gallon drums of hexane?!?! The local chemical distributors had to have known something was going on...)


  1. Enjoyed the (intentional?) blunt-ly speaking pun!

  2. I wonder what the consulting rate is for an ex-pharma process chemist in that particular line of work.

    Waiting for one of these busts to reveal a supercritical CO2 extraction setup. Seems the next logical step if hexane distributors start doing more due diligence on their end users.


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