Oregon marijuana company fined $5,300 over butane explosion

Oregon regulators fined Higher Level Concentrates $5,300 for workplace safety violations following a butane-extraction explosion last year that landed one man in a Portland burn ward.

The Oregonian reported that Oregon OSHA fined the extraction company, which is based in in Astoria, for failure to:

  • Ventilate the building
  • Have an adequate electrical system
  • Obtain city permits

The accident occurred last October, when, according to a lawsuit, William “Chris” West was handling butane canisters and allowed butane gas to fill a room while another man, Jason Oei, was dabbing cannabis oil. According to the lawsuit, Oei triggered the explosion when he lit his dabbing rig.

Regulators said that fire officials found 200-300 punctured canisters of butane at the scene of the blast, the newspaper reported.

Jacob Magley was nearby when the extraction facility exploded and badly burned. He filed an $8.9 million lawsuit in February against Higher Level Concentrates, according to The Daily Astorian.

Butane, a cheap and combustible solvent, has been used for extraction in home operations and at licensed facilities for years. After a number of explosions related to butane extraction, state governments have been working to change fire codes and safety regulations to prevent further accidents from happening.

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