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Glendale police bust extensive hash oil laboratory

Glendale police uncovered the second hash-oil operation in as many weeks Tuesday night -- the same night a similar lab exploded at a home in Malibu, injuring one person.

Police arrested a man and a woman in connection with the Glendale operation, which was discovered inside a home in the 1200 block of East Lexington Drive during a probation compliance check, police Sgt. Luis Pasache said.

"It puts the community at risk," he said, adding that the home is between two apartment buildings.

A Hazmat team responded to the scene to secure the home due to volatile conditions, the Glendale News-Press reported.

Police seized about 10 pounds of marijuana, at least 30 butane cans and three tubes used to create the highly potent oil, he said.

"Butane honey oil” is a waxy substance that can produce an even stronger high for users, who can inhale or vaporize the oil without the strong odor of marijuana.

Hash oil has become increasingly popular among users, prompting some novices to attempt to make it in their homes.

But in some recent cases, attempts to produce the oil have resulted in explosions.

A suspected drug lab at a home in Malibu caught fire and exploded Tuesday, injuring one person who had to be transported to the hospital via helicopter, authorities said.

And two men suspected of operating a hash oil extraction laboratory were burned in a similar explosion last month in the city of Commerce.

Glendale police said the potential for an explosion was significant at a similar hash oil operation discovered March 29 in the 800 block of North Glendale Avenue.

At that operation, police seized 2 ounces of hash oil and approximately 181 butane cans.

In the latest discovery, police found more than just a hash oil operation. Upon entering the Lexington Drive home, police reportedly found a couple of glass display cases, credit card readers, a heat-sealing device and glass pipes.

"They are kind of acting like a dispensary," Pasache said.

Investigators found roughly 18 marijuana plants growing inside a downstairs room. Another room appeared to be used to house a second grow, while a third room was set up for shipping and packaging, Pasache said.

A handgun was also seized from the home.

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veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA

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