Licensed processors may use butane and other flammable hydrocarbons in the production of marijuana extracts, according to the board's regulations. But they must do so using a "closed-loop" system that limits the flammable gas's exposure to ignition sources, and production must be on a commercial scale rather than for personal use. Processing must also take place in industrial areas, away from population centers and public facilities like schools and libraries.
"The (Liquor Control Board) is aware of the dangers that can be created by improper extraction, which is why we specifically addressed it in the rules," board spokesman Brian Smith wrote in an email.
What's unclear from the Liquor Control Board's rules is what criminal penalty an unlicensed person producing marijuana extract might face.
Sayman was driving when his concoction of plants, butane, a PVC pipe and a coffee filter exploded as he attempted to light a cigarette with his daughter in the back seat, according to court documents. He faces charges of assault and manufacturing a controlled substance, with a sentencing enhancement because he was within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop.
Sayman pleaded not guilty in court this week and is not in custody.
Investigators are still questioning witnesses in the January apartment fire, and criminal charges are likely, Schaeffer said. But he said the message the Fire Department wants to send is more important than potential criminal liabilities.