Couple making cannabis oil causes over $40K in damage after explosion rocks house

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Kitchen and laundry door frames, as well as multiple windows, were blown out by the explosion, with glass flying about 25 metres.

A New Zealand couple has caused more than $46,000 in damage (about C$40,400) to a house in the suburb of Invercargill after their attempt at making cannabis oil resulted in a massive explosion.

Samuel Paul Just, 29, and Rebecca Anne Bower, 28, were both charged with producing cannabis oil. Both have pleaded guilty after a district court appearance on Tuesday, where they were convicted and remanded on bail, according to a report from Stuff NZ.

According to a statement of facts provided by police, emergency services were contacted during the afternoon of September 9, 2020 after neighbours reported hearing an explosion.

Police say that the kitchen and laundry door frames, as well as multiple windows, were blown out by the explosion, with glass flying about 25 metres.

The roof became distorted, with damage to an adjoining bedroom and bath, and a fire was ignited in the laundry room, per the summary.

The police claim that the explosion occurred when the couple dispensed six canisters of butane into a pop bottle and made the oil before the butane ignited. The couple had purchased the butane canisters earlier that day and admitted to using them to produce the oil.

The explosion caused about $46,000 worth of damages to the house, which is owned by Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities, a Crown corporation that provides rental housing to those in need. Additionally, just over $600 in damage was done to a neighbour’s home, according to the summary.

Both Bower and Just were taken to hospital and treated for burns to their arms and faces.

Cannabis remains a prohibited  Class B drug — alongside opium, morphine, and MDMA —  in New Zealand after citizens narrowly voted in a referendum last year not to legalize.

The penalty for the supply or manufacture of a Class B drug is up 14 years in prison.

Bower and Just are expected to be sentenced at the end of October.

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