What You Need to Know About Sacramento County’s Butane Ordinance

On May 23, 2017, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance restricting the sale of butane, a highly flammable substance used in the manufacturing of marijuana concentrate, or hash oil. The law is effective June 22, 2017, and potentially impacts your business.

Requirements

  • No more than 600 ml of butane may be sold in a single transaction.
  • Resellers must log the sale date, quantity, and customer identification for every butane sale.
  • No customer may purchase more than 600 ml of butane in one month.

Possession Exemptions

The ordinance prohibits the possession of more than 600 ml of butane except in the following cases:

  1. Butane wholesalers.
  2. Butane used for a registered commercial use.
  3. Odorized butane.

Read the May 9 news story about the Board’s unanimous vote to regulate butane sales.

Read item #55 on the Board of Supervisors agenda for the full staff report and supporting materials.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Butane Ordinance:

Q. What is the Butane Ordinance?

A. The Butane Ordinance was signed into law on May 23, 2017, to regulate retail sales of refined butane products. Retail provisions of the Butane Ordinance include possession limits, transaction limits, monthly purchase limits, sales logbooks and customer identification.

Q. Why was the Butane Ordinance passed?

A. Passage of the Butane Ordinance was accomplished to curtail the illicit production of concentrated cannabis. Local jurisdictions that have enacted similar or more restrictive retail regulations have seen a dramatic drop in concentrated cannabis labs.

Q. What is concentrated cannabis?

A. Concentrated cannabis, also called hash oil and butane honey oil (BHO), is a cannabis extract that is growing in popularity amongst cannabis consumers for its versatility and potency. Concentrated cannabis is produced through complicated methods of extracting cannabinoids from the marijuana plant using a solvent. In clandestine hash oil labs, refined butane is often used as a solvent as it is cheap and readily available. However, butane is highly flammable and non-odorous, posing a significant risk of explosion.

Q. When does the Butane Ordinance go into effect?

A. June 22, 2017.

Q. As a retailer, what must I do in order to continue to sell butane products?

A. On and after June 22, 2017, retailers must comply with all provisions of the Butane Ordinance relating to photo identification of customers, sales logbooks, and sales limits.

Q. What about this logbook requirement?

A. Regulated sellers are required to maintain a logbook, written or electronic, to record sales of butane canister products. The seller must enter into the logbook the name of the product, and quantity sold. The customer must write or enter into the logbook their name, address, date, and time of sale. The customer must also sign the logbook. Each transaction record must be kept for at least two years. You may not sell the product unless these requirements are met. View the sample logbook template.

Q. What identification must a customer provide to purchase these products?

A. Purchasers must show a photo identification card issued by the State of California. You may not sell the product unless your customer provides appropriate identification. The regulated seller must verify that the customer’s name matches the name written in the logbook by that individual and that the date and time of sale are correct.

Q. How much product can I sell, and how much can my customer buy?

A. The Butane Ordinance limits the quantity of Butane purchased in one month by a single customer to 600 ml. The Ordinance also sets a limit of 600 ml in any single transaction.

Q. Is there an exemption for providing ID and signing the logbook?

A. If a customer is purchasing odorized butane then the individual does not have to provide identification or sign the logbook.

Q. Does the ordinance require resellers to log sales of butane lighters?

A. No. The ordinance is directed at the sale of butane stored in canisters, not lighters. Canisters typically contain upwards of 300 mL of butane, whereas a lighter contains approximately 5.4 mL of butane. The ordinance targets butane canister sales and makes it unlawful to sell any number of butane canisters that exceed a combined storage quantity of 6oomL during any single transaction.

Q. Does the Ordinance affect Butane sales and possession in the City of Sacramento or other incorporated cities?

A. No. The Ordinance only applies in the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County.

For more information, contact Sacramento County’s Planning and Environmental Review office at (916) 874-6221 or email sacplan@saccounty.net.