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'Weed butter' explosion sends Las Vegas man to hospital

Posted at 10:43 AM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 09:24:34-05

A man was burned while cooking marijuana which caused an explosion in his North Jones Boulevard apartment on Dec. 19.  

Las Vegas firefighters responded to 2121 North Jones Boulevard at 8:49 p.m. for a reported grease fire in an upstairs apartment, but on arrival firefighters and fire, investigators determined it was not a normal cooking fire.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they were told that the fire was out and a man was sitting in front of the building that was burned. Inside of the apartment, there was evidence that a fire occurred on the stove top and a microwave above the stove was also damaged by fire. Firefighters followed burned spots on the ground outside to the parking lot and found a cylindrical object on the ground which was first thought to be a pipe bomb but was later determined to be a device that is used to produce what is known as “weed butter”.

By cooking marijuana through an involved process, concentrated THC can be produced. Sometimes it is then cooked and mixed with butter to be used in food products.

What makes it dangerous is the cooking process. There are different methods of cooking, but the use of butane to make it faster is being used and the when precautions are not taken, the butane explodes. This is what is what fire investigators believe happened in the kitchen.

The victim was being shown how to make the weed butter by his father when the accident occurred. The victim was transported to the University Medical Center Trauma unit with 18% burns, mostly to an arm.

Narcotic detectives with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the incident.

Police officials told 13 Action News cooking the concentrate at home is legal, but not recommended.

For one, weed butter is available for sale in dispensaries.

Kama Star, a manager for Oasis Cannabis, says the products available in stores have been tested and approved too.