Cannabis National News Briefs

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By Dr. Lloyd Covens, 420 West Weekly

Hemp Transporters Jailed for Hot Hemp

While 9 of 11 hemp samples from the Oklahoma transport truck found the DEA test reporting at or under 0.03% THC– two African men remain in the Pawhuska, Oklahoma jail, now in their 4th week of incarceration.  Beyond their “go-fund-me” page attempting to raise their $40,000 bail, a local pro-bono attorney– Bransford Shoemake– is calling for release of the pair saying it is obviously not a marijuana offense (two samples were reported to be 0.04 and 0.05% THC).  The Osage county district attorney reportedly has not decided to proceed with charges, according to The Tulsa World, but one of the drivers, Tadesse Deneke, is now also in danger of losing his house in Alabama.  Family members say they have raised the 10% cash bond ($4000) — but attorney Shoemake says he cannot find “an agency” able to post their bond.  Two other men in the shipment–were released Jan. 15th after posting bond, but also likely will face a severe drug trafficking charge if the DA proceeds.   Interested parties may help the jailed two men by calling Shoemake at his Pawhuska law office, 918-287-1812.  Other forms of assistance can be coordinated with Louisville, CO hemp customer, Panacea Life Sciences, 303-725-2599.  Last week, an unrelated truck transporting hemp was seized by cops in Idaho.  No arrests were made.

Congress Filed Bill to End Prohibition, Appropriately Named S.420

Years after its original introduction by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a House subcommittee will, for the first time, hear testimony on a cannabis banking bill, Wed., Feb. 13th.  “The SAFE Act”–co-sponsored by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) will allow banks and credit unions to legally provide all banking services to cannabis firms operating in legal states.  California state treasurer Fiona Ma will testify, along with banking officials from Washington and Oregon.   Separately, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has introduced  Senate S. 420 — The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act — to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference. In addition to removing marijuana from the United States Controlled Substances Act, this legislation also removes enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matters concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales — thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.

To add your voice to the call for approving S.420,use NORML’s support portal:

 Click here to send a message to your lawmakers in support of S 420

The United Nation’s WHO (World Health Organization) has released its findings in support of removing CBD from any international schedules, and for down-scheduling cannabis for all its member nations.

Canada to Invest in US Hemp Production

Canadian cannabis giant, Canopy Growth Corp., says it will spend up to $500Mil. in additional states to support the growth of hemp farming– including CBD, seed for food (protein), and fiber applications.  CEO Bruce Linton told Yahoo Finance that CGC will invest in “states that have big populations and progressive leadership” who want to expand job creation with hemp.  He cited Rhode Island as a certain investment, and added his firm is looking to be active in 3 or 4 other states.  Last month, Canopy announced a deal with New York state to build a “hemp industrial park” in the southern part of the state, with a price tag of $100 to $150Mil.


New Frontier Data estimates the legal cannabis industry employed over 259,000 full time workers in 2018, a rise of 30% over 2017.  In a top-line of consumer types, and conditions most often cited, this short report also guesses that full-blown U.S, legalization would drive that employee figure to 1.01 million full time jobs.  Sign up for the free report at

Based in Denver, Dr. Lloyd Covens, DBA is a seasoned cannabis industry journalist and the publisher of West420 NewsWeekly. Writing his doctorate on diffusion of innovations, Covens has been an expert journalist/researcher for 20 years chronicling new technology, global television and renewable energy advancements. He has reported on developments in the cannabis and hemp industry with weekly reports since 2014 covering the western U.S. for legal medical cannabis, recreational sales and hemp production. Covens is also the creator of the annual CO Hemp CBD conference held in Pueblo, Colorado.

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