Death in a Cannabis Lab: Italian Prosecutors Investigate Explosion

Death in a Cannabis Lab: Italian Prosecutors Investigate Explosion
High Times

Prosecutors in Perugia, Italy are now trying to decide how to charge both owners and managers in a horrific industrial accident that killed two people and seriously injured two others. The incident occurred when a “laboratory,” which was set up to create “Cannabis Lite” from high THC cannabis, exploded. Beyond the strange specifics, this kind of incident is certainly an anomaly in Europe—and not just because of the existence of cannabinoids in this process, but also what the manufacturers were trying to do to it. Not to mention how. If this case sounds like Colorado, circa 2014, you would be right. In the first summer of state legalization, the Denver Department of Environmental Health ordered a recall from a manufacturer who had made hash in their washing machine to be sold commercially and “legally.” Thankfully, nobody died, and the owners displayed an ignorance that what they were doing was against public health guidelines. Beyond this incident however, the danger of BHO extractions are an increasing menace in U.S. states where recreational cannabis is now legal. Inexperienced operators are using butane to make hash oil—and horrific accidents and explosions are on the rise. This case in Italy seems to be a macabre copycat spinoff. What makes this even stranger is the supposed intent of the “manufacturer.” Criminal Liability and Intent in Italy In this case, prosecutors are trying to determine how to charge both the managers and owners of the business. It appears that they face, at minimum, charges of gross negligence for failing to warn and train employees about the dangers of what they were doing. They could end up being charged with either manslaughter or murder. Here is why. Ultrasonic “washing machines” had been set up to bathe cannabis in pentane to lower the level of THC in the…

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