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Honey oil lab explodes near Nevada City

A honey oil lab exploded before 8 a.m. outside of a residence along the 10,000 block of Laurentian Way east of Nevada City Wednesday.
Firefighters responded to a report of an explosion with some smoke seen and upon arrival identified what they believed was a butane honey oil hash operation that exploded inside a shipping container.

Authorities said they arrested Joshua Christopher Ryon, 29; and Nathan McCallister, 42, both of Nevada City, in connection with the lab. The men each face felony charges of manufacturing a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy. Ryon also faces an unrelated misdemeanor.
“After further search of the property and putting out ignition sources, they were able to determine that it was sealed inside of the Conex box,” Nevada County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Rob Bringolf said from the scene.

Inside the container was a honey oil or hash oil operation in its final stages.
“They were using methanol as the solvent to attach the THC and then trying to off gas that methanol inside that sealed shipping container,” Bringolf said. “It appears that they may have been trying to raise the temperature in there for the off gassing to happen more rapidly with the use of an open propane flame.”

“The question isn’t what could go wrong in this situation,” Bringolf said. “It was not a very well thought-out plan, and a result of that is the explosion.”
A cannabis grow site was also found on the property.

“Still have to do some measurements to determine if the grow site is out of compliance or not. At first blush it looks like it may be,” Bringolf said.
“The most dangerous issue, and certainly the biggest quality of life issue for the neighbors I’m sure, is their house burning down from a shoddy BHO,” Bringolf said. “It’s a breezy day and today is fire weather conditions.”
The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has initiated its investigation into the matter.

<To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email efunez@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4230.

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