There is much confusion about the legal status of BHO (butane hash/honey oil, sometimes referred to as “shatter”) in Rhode Island. The State Police say it is illegal to make it. Rhode Island State Police Detective Commander Major Kevin O’Brien was quoted as follows: “We haven’t arrested anyone in the state for locating butane with marijuana,” said O’Brien. “With that being said, we just received clarification from the [Rhode Island] Attorney General a few weeks ago with regard to butane ‘honey oil.’ The [Attorney General’s] office and appellate groups came to the conclusion that we can make arrests. I can only speak to the state police for not making any so far, I don’t know about cities and towns.”
“If there’s butane present, and someone’s growing marijuana, you can’t do that,” said O’Brien. “If you come upon a residence, and there’s anything combustible along with marijuana, they can charged with manufacturing.” http://www.golocalprov.com/news/marijuana-growing-facilities-serious-concern-says-ri-fire-marshal
We do not know what law the state police and Attorney General are relying on. Our state regulated compassion centers have been selling BHO. They have asked caregivers and patients to sell it to them and one center is making it. RIPAC has asked the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office if Commander Major O’Brien’s remarks apply to licensed patients and caregivers and what law that would authorize such prosecutions. A reporter asked similar questions. The Attorney General’s office has not responded with an answer.
We should keep in mind that regardless of the state law, making BHO is illegal under federal law and the US Attorney’s office could prosecute if they chose to do so. The US Attorney’s office has indicated a recent interest in BHO.
We will continue to seek clarification.