NEWS BRIEF

L.A. explosion investigation includes possible marijuana industry connections

California and federal authorities launched a criminal investigation into an explosion over the weekend at a Los Angeles warehouse that reportedly contained canisters of butane intended for cannabis concentrate production.

According to NBC News, the L.A. police and fire departments as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have convened investigations into the explosion, which injured 11 city firefighters.

The warehouse where the explosion happened is used by a company called SmokeTokes, which advertises itself as an “international distributor and wholesaler of smoking and vaping products” for both marijuana consumers and other businesses.

L.A. Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott told the Associated Press that SmokeTokes is also a producer of “butane honey oil,” but the California Department of Public Health has no record of a company named SmokeTokes holding a manufacturing license.

Los Angeles officials categorized SmokeTokes to NBC News as a “ghost business” because there are no city records related to the company, although the business is incorporated with the state.

It’s not clear yet whether the company was manufacturing cannabis concentrates without a permit or what caused the explosion.

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