Couple who dealt drugs from their kitchen table caught out when police turn up



Couple who dealt drugs from their kitchen table caught out when police turn up




Billy McVean, 33, and Caprice Roberts, 21, of Hull, were found with drug paraphernalia, drug dealer lists and a large stash of small quantities of cannabis




A couple who made their living dealing drugs from their flat were caught after cops spotted a cannabis plant on their kitchen table.

Billy McVean, 33, and Caprice Roberts, 21, of Hull, jointly appeared in court on Friday after officers seized £800 worth of cannabis from their home on April 28 last year.

Hull Crown Court heard the pair had been targeted by drug dealers “further up the chain.”

However officers found drug paraphernalia, drug dealer lists and a large stash of small quantities of cannabis at the home, reports Hull Live .




Prosecutor Michele Stuart-Lofthouse said officers attended the Valiant Drive property on two occasions and found Roberts at the address the second time.

She said: “They asked the defendant if they could search the property and she said yes.

“A search found drug paraphernalia, cannabis in small bags and three cannabis plants on the kitchen table.

“Weapons including a small pick axe and home-made knuckle duster were also found. This was purely street dealing, your Honour.

“The plants and cannabis were taken to the laboratory where forensic tests were carried out and found the drugs to be skunk and cannabis, drugs of class B.”

She added: “Together, there were 75 grams of cannabis and which would suggest it was at street level.”

Forensic experts revealed that the phone had been used to contact dealers for amounts of cannabis.

Both pleaded guilty to possessing a class B drug with intent to supply and possessing a class B drug.


McVean pleaded guilty to possessing a class B drug with intent to supply and possessing a class B drug.

Charlotte Baines, defending, said McVean had previous drug-related offences on his record, but this had been the first for street dealing.

McVean, who is currently serving a five week sentence for unrelated matters, appeared in court from custody.

Mrs Baines said: “He wants to be released so he can look after his grandmother.”

Catherine Kioko-Gilligan, who was defending Roberts, said that it was her first ever offence and said the pair are now no longer in a relationship.

She said: “The defendant says she would never sell the cannabis, but instead shared them with friends.”

McVean was sentenced to a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to undertake 10 days of rehabilitation sessions and a curfew.

Roberts received a four month sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to complete 25 rehabilitation days as part of the order.

Judge John Thackray QC told them: “Drugs ruin lives and they destroy communities. Both of you played your own part in that.

“Drug dealing is serious no matter at what point you are involved.”



Pet owners are warned against bogus claims cannabis-based treatments can cure their animals of cancer, arthritis and anxiety



Pet owners are warned against bogus claims cannabis-based treatments can cure their animals of cancer, arthritis and anxiety


Daily mail


Pet owners are being sold cannabis-based treatments that claim to cure conditions from cancer and arthritis to anxiety in animals.

But veterinary experts have warned there is insufficient ‘robust evidence’ to prove they are effective.

Now the Government has written to dozens of manufacturers and retailers of cannabidiol (CBD) for pets, warning them against making bogus medical claims.


An active ingredient in cannabis derived from the hemp plant, CBD, has become trendy among people in the past year, often sold in the form of liquid drops and claimed by fans to help with conditions such as pain and insomnia. 

It is legal provided it is sold as a food supplement but requires authorisation if offered as a medicine.

Despite this, medicinal CBD pet products on sale to British owners have proliferated online. 


One site has a range of CBD oils for animals including cats, rabbits and hamsters, from £20.

It says that ‘like many conventional pharmaceutical drugs’ CBD can be used to relieve symptoms including ‘anxieties, allergies, inflammation and arthritis’.

Another site for UK pet owners, which offers premium 5 per cent strength oil for £35, says ‘CBD is known to have a positive effect on conditions like severe and chronic pain, feminine issues, headaches, stomach issues, anxiety, sleep issues, loss of appetite, cancer, skin issues and hair issues’.


The site says it does not consider its CBD oils for pets to be veterinary medicinal products. 

A third website sells gluten-free CBD dog biscuits containing turmeric and coconut oil for £39.95.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: ‘There are currently no CBD-based products that have been granted a UK veterinary marketing authorisation.’

Defra said the VMD had written to 100 CBD companies to ensure their products satisfied the regulations. It did not name the companies or say how they responded.

Daniella Dos Santos, of the British Veterinary Association, said: ‘While research is ongoing to look into its efficacy and risks, there is a lack of sufficient robust evidence to demonstrate health benefits and safety of CBD use in pets.’



There’s a massive cannabis science and technology conference in Toronto today



There’s a massive cannabis science and technology conference in Toronto today


While business and policy developments in Canadian cannabis generally grab most of the headlines, some of the most innovative and unsung developments happen behind the scenes in regards to the science and technology used by the industry.

To help celebrate and connect these members of the field together, Business of Cannabis has organized the Cannabis + Technology confrence, taking place this Friday.

The one-day event will showcase tech innovation from across the cannabis sector, covering the complete cannabis supply chain from cultivation technology to patient and consumer-facing technological advances.

“Canada’s approach to legalizing cannabis has opened the innovation floodgates for canna-tech,” said Jay Rosenthal, Co-founder and President, Business of Cannabis. “Cannabis + Technology will highlight the innovators and companies leading the charge.”

Some of the speakers include Richard Carleton, CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange, Karim Ramji, CIO of the Ontario Cannabis Store, and more.

“Canada is already the global hub of cannabis finance,” said Richard Carleton, CEO, Canadian Securities Exchange. “We also have a unique opportunity to be the hub of technological innovation in the cannabis sector.”



Huge 26-ton mountain of drugs including marijuana, crystal meth and morphine worth millions of dollars is torched by Mexican cops in trafficking crackdown



Huge 26-ton mountain of drugs including marijuana, crystal meth and morphine worth millions of dollars is torched by Mexican cops in trafficking crackdown


Daily Mail


These dramatic pictures show more than 26 tons of drugs being incinerated at an army compound in Mexico. 

Marijuana, crystal meth and other narcotics were set ablaze in the state of Baja California yesterday as part of an eye-catching national operation to crack down on illegal drug trafficking. 

Packages of marijuana were piled up in a huge mountain and torched under the gaze of soldiers and armed federal agents at a site belonging to the 28th Infantry Battalion in Tijuana.   

One of the agents from the General Prosecutor’s Office even took a selfie as the huge stash of drugs burned brightly behind him. 

Across the country, the haul that was set on fire included more than 50 tons of marijuana, more than a ton of cocaine, and large supplies of methamphetamine, heroin, morphine and pills.   


Left standing: Some of the packages of drugs are still intact and arranged in neat piles but the approaching fire is about to engulf them. The haul across the country included more than 50 tons of marijuana

Seen from above: An aerial view of the huge drug incineration with a plume of smoke pouring from the packages of drugs



The event in Baja California – which borders California where recreational cannabis is legal – was the largest of 21 such infernos across Mexico. 

U.S. and Mexican officials have tried to work together to target drugs kingpins, most notably Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison earlier this year. 

The court heard evidence of drugs pouring into the U.S. through secret tunnels or hidden in tanker trucks or  packed in rail cars passing through legitimate points of entry. 


However, experts warn that cartels led by influential kingpins are being replaced by ‘replaced by flatter, more nimble organizations that tend to be loosely networked’, in the words of one report. 

The University of San Diego research found that Guzman’s takedown had ‘dramatically reshaped the landscape of Mexican organized crime’.

Among the cartels cutting into El Chapo’s former dominance is believed to be a group called the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG, led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, also known as El Mencho.  Total destruction: A close-up view of the bright orange flames engulfing the pile of illegal drugs that were seized in Mexico


From the top: Some of the packages of drugs are seen on the pile as a man lights the stack on fire in different places


Photos on Link


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Man issued fixed penalty notice for cannabis possession as police use knife arch at Newark Northgate Train Station as part of Operation Sceptre, a crackdown on knife crime



Man issued fixed penalty notice for cannabis possession as police use knife arch at Newark Northgate Train Station as part of Operation Sceptre, a crackdown on knife crime


A man was issued a fixed penalty notice for cannabis possession yesterday (Thursday).

The man was found with the class C drug at Newark Northgate Station after police used a knife arch ­— a metal detector ­— and had a police sniffer dog on site.

Newark Neighbourhood Policing Team spent the day at the station as part of Operation Sceptre to crack down on knife crime and associated offences.

A volunteer, not the man caught with cannabis, walking through the knife arch during the police visit to Newark Northgate.


Five stop and searches were carried out after positive indications from police dog Ross.

No weapons were found.

The operation forms part of Nottinghamshire Police’s knife crime enforcement and prevention campaign, which is run in conjunction with British Transport Police.

Newark Police said the day received good feedback from members of the public.



Vietnamese gang leaders jailed over £6m cannabis haul



Vietnamese gang leaders jailed over £6m cannabis haul


BBC News


Cannabis plants


The ringleaders of a Vietnamese crime gang have been jailed after police seized 2.5 tonnes of cannabis worth about £6m in raids across south Wales.

A total of 21 people have been sentenced in a case going back to 2017 after dozens of cannabis factories were uncovered across the region and beyond.

One of the defendants initially claimed to be 14-years-old, but police proved he was actually aged 26.

The gang leaders were sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Friday.

Bang Xuan Luong, 44, was sentenced to eight years in prison. His partner, 42-year-old Vu Thi Thu Thuy, was jailed for six years and Tuan Anh Pham, 20, who was described in court as the “IT Man”, received five years.

An investigation into a cannabis factory in the Cynon Valley led officers from South Wales Police’s Force Intelligence and Organised Crime Unit (FIOCU) to a string of others across south Wales, Gwent and Dyfed-Powys force areas.



Police arrest one man


The gang, all from Vietnam, were all arrested as part of Operation Violet Panama, which saw the three police forces and the National Crime Agency raid 19 addresses in November 2017.

In addition to 15 cannabis factories, the investigation led to the detection of more than 30 further factories and storage facilities across Wales and as far afield as Coventry, all linked to the gang.

During hearings at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, 19 of 23 defendants plead guilty to conspiracy to produce a Class B drug, two people were found guilty by a jury and two others were acquitted.

The court heard that the “industrial-scale” operation was expected to have netted the leaders of the gang somewhere in the region of £25m, with much of the proceeds sent back to Vietnam.

During initial court proceedings, the court heard the gang’s kingpin, Bang Xuan Luong oversaw the operation from his five-bedroom home in Aberdare.

Pot of cash with £50 notes in view


Pots of £50 notes were found when officers raided his address.

His co-accused, Tuan Anh Pham was said to have been responsible for renting the properties and their upkeep, the court heard.

Such was the complexity of the network, with the majority of the gang having entered the country illegally and holding false documents, investigating officers gave each defendant an alias – all brands of breakfast cereals – in order to identify them and the role they each played in the conspiracy.

Further adding to the complicated investigation, one of the defendants – Khanh Van Pham, 26 – claimed to be 14-years-old and officers had to spend months working to prove this was not the case.

He pleaded guilty to two separate counts of cannabis production, and perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to just under five years in prison in July.




Police seize 150 cannabis plants in raid on West Yorkshire farm



Police seize 150 cannabis plants in raid on West Yorkshire farm


Over 150 plants were seized by West Yorkshire Police (Photo: WYP)


Police officers have seized over 150 cannabis plants from a farm in West Yorkshire.

The farm was located by East Bradford Neighbourhood Policing Team in the BD3 postcode.

Officers shared a picture of the grow on Facebook, which showed 150 young cannabis plants that were taken off the streets.


“150+ plants taken off the streets. Enquires ongoing.”

West Yorkshire Police are continuing to investigate the farm and it is not yet known if arrests have been made.



‘Cannabis oasis’: Los Angeles cafe first in the US to offer dine-and-dab service



‘Cannabis oasis’: Los Angeles cafe first in the US to offer dine-and-dab service




Kevin Brady, the director of Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, wanted to build a “bright, airy oasis” where people can consume cannabis.


Entrepreneurs behind Lowell Cafe see the business as a major turning point toward the ‘end of prohibition’ in America

Kevin Brady, the director of Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, wanted to build a “bright, airy oasis” where people can consume cannabis.
 Kevin Brady, the director of Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, wanted to build a “bright, airy oasis” where people can consume cannabis. Photograph: Dan Tuffs/The Guardian
In some parts of America, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested each year for marijuana.

In West Hollywood, it’s on the dinner menu.

Lowell Cafe, opening next month in Los Angeles, is the country’s first legal cannabis restaurant, meaning the first business in the US licensed to serve meals with both food and weed. Inside the marijuana restaurant and lounge, “budtenders” will greet patrons and help them navigate menus of joints, bong service, dab rigs and other cannabis treats that they can then consume inside the cafe, alongside farm-to-table dishes.

Cannabis entrepreneurs in California see this new business as a next big step toward the “end of prohibition” in America, and a major turning point in the continuing effort to legalize marijuana for recreational and social use.

“Cannabis consumers have had to kind of be closeted,” said the chef, Andrea Drummer, standing inside the Lowell kitchen on a recent afternoon while perfecting a mascarpone-filled crepe with peaches for the dessert menu. “To be able to engage in and consume in a space with like-minded people and not have it be secret and not feel judged, I think it’s an exceptional concept.”


It’s been a long journey to get to 1 October, Lowell’s grand opening. The much-hyped restaurant is breaking ground at a time in which marijuana is still considered an illegal drug in many parts of the US, a country where more than one person is arrested for cannabis every minute.


California has consistently led the way on marijuana reform, becoming the first state to approve medical cannabis over two decades ago. The state officially legalized recreational pot in 2016, but it’s been a slow process to establish regulations that allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of the new law.

It’s also still illegal to smoke weed in public in California, and while there are some “lounges” and clubs where people can gather and smoke, there have been no businesses that operate like traditional restaurants. The city of West Hollywood, a major LA nightlife hub, wanted to change that, and recently created a licensing process, drawing hundreds of applicants.

“This is a really, really big moment,” said Jackie Subeck, a local cannabis consultant and advocate who won one of the recent West Hollywood licenses and plans to open a cannabis spa and cafe in the city. “This doesn’t exist anywhere … We’re building the plane while flying it.”

West Hollywood officials have helped Lowell navigate conflicting and confusing state and local regulations, though there are some challenges they haven’t yet been able to resolve. Lowell so far has not sorted out a way to legally serve fresh food that is actually infused with cannabis, since there is no state health regulation permitting it. But the cafe did find a way to secure approvals for both food and weed consumption in one location.

“It’s a fun opportunity, because it’s so unknown,” said Kevin Brady, the restaurant’s director, as he stood at the site of the cafe, which is still under construction. “Being the first, we want to make sure we set the benchmark very high.”


At Lowell, guests will have the option of renting a bong or pipe, rolling their own joints or allowing a “flower host” to roll for them.


Brady has been working to build a restaurant that he said would feel like a “light, bright airy oasis of a space that people can consume cannabis” and would defy stoner stereotypes – no lava lamps, black lights, Led Zeppelin posters or beanbag chairs. “It’s not the college, Dave Matthews Band kind of vibe. It’s this really elegant place.”

This summer, a rabbi from a synagogue across the street expressed concerns about the smell of marijuana, but Brady said the restaurant would have an advanced air filtration system that would ensure it doesn’t reek outside or inside.

The cafe, which has an outdoor patio, will be open from 10am to 10pm and has already started taking reservations, he said, including from people as far away as Japan and Russia, who have said they are traveling to LA to visit the restaurant.

On the cannabis menu, Lowell will offer flower and smoking options and guests can rent pipes or bongs, roll their own joints, or have “flower hosts” roll for them.

The staff will function like wine sommeliers, Brady said, asking guests about their experiences and interests: “How familiar are you with cannabis? What are you looking for? Are you Snoop Dogg or have you not smoked since high school?”

Drummer, who is heading the kitchen, has built a reputation for herself as a cannabis chef, notably preparing a cannabis-infused meal for Chelsea Handler on her show Chelsea Does and working with other celebrity clients and private companies.

“Food and cannabis are both very communal experiences, so to bring them together … is still very fascinating for me,” she said. She’s still finalizing the menu, which will have traditionally healthy dishes like baby kale salad, along with “foods that one would love to indulge in, if they are elevated”, she said. That includes mac and cheese bites, a grilled cheese sandwich, fried chicken, and a “sweet FL(HIGH)T” dessert plate featuring caramel popcorn, ice cream sandwich, bacon, s’mores and other sweets.


The cafe says “all menu items are meant to complement the heightened senses from THC consumption”.

Brady said he expected the business would attract a wide range of customers, including tourists, celebrities and Hollywood screenwriters. His sister, who has two young children, “wants to bring all her PTA mom friends”, he said. “She sees this as a social communal environment that won’t impact the ability to wake up in the morning and take the kids to school or go to yoga and pilates.”

Even in progressive states like California, the cannabis industry has continued to be dominated by white entrepreneurs and excluded communities that have long suffered and continue to suffer from criminalization and the war on drugs.

Roughly 8% of the workforce of Lowell Herb Co, the company behind the cafe, are people with previous cannabis infractions on their record, said Sean Black, a co-founder, adding that this was a priority in hiring for the cafe.

“There is nothing that will make up for the wrongs that were done,” he said. “There are people in other states who are in jail while we are serving fancy meals. It’s inherently unfair.”

The cafe, he hoped, would help tackle remaining stigmas around cannabis consumption: “We want it to have the same respect as fine wine … Cannabis can be a fun recreational part of society, like alcohol, without being dangerous.”

Advocates said they expected this type of business would spread in California and other states, and Drummer said she was aware that people would be paying attention to what happens at Lowell.

“That is a huge deal, and I want to do it justice,” she said.





Welcome to the Australian Cannabis Territory: How Canberra could soon be home to Amsterdam-style marijuana cafes



Welcome to the Australian Cannabis Territory: How Canberra could soon be home to Amsterdam-style marijuana cafes


Daily Mail


Canberra could soon be home to Amsterdam-style cafes that sell marijuana joints and hash cookies – with drug experts saying it was only a matter of time.

In an Australia first, from January 31 next year it will be legal for adults in the Australian Capital Territory to carry 50 grams of cannabis and grow two plants.

It passed the Legislative Assembly this week with the support of Labor and the Greens, and the Liberals fear cafes selling ‘space cakes’ will be next. 

There are also fears more drivers could soon be convicted of drug driving with one of Australia’s leading drug experts questioning the science behind random roadside tests for cannabis. 

The legalisation of marijuana has proven to be a slippery slope to cafes selling joints, hash cookies and cannabis cakes, at least in the Netherlands.

Canberra could soon be home to Amsterdam-style cafes (like the one pictured) that sell marijuana joints and hash cookies - with drug experts saying it was only a matter of time


n 1972, Dutch lawmakers legalised marijuana for personal use after Pieter Baan, the chief inspector of mental health, recommended decriminalising the possession of small quantities of soft drugs.

The first legal ‘coffee shops’ opened in Amsterdam four years later, after the new Opium Act of 1976 distinguished between hard and soft drugs.

It meant these cafes, which had operated illegally since the late 1960s, no longer had to be secret enterprises that only allowed in customers who knocked on the door. 

International tourists have since been flocking to the Netherlands to enjoy a joint or a marijuana-infused space cake at one of the many cafes by the canals. 


Dr Alex Wodak, the president of the Australian Law Reform Foundation, said Dutch-style cafes would make sense for Canberra.

‘Definitely,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Friday.

‘We need to ultimately regulate cannabis. There are many different ways of doing that but regulation means cultivation, wholesale and retail all have to be regulated by government and taxed as well.’

Dr Wodak argued that making cannabis available at retail outlets like cafes in the ACT would negate the need for a pot smoker to turn to harder drugs once they had exceeded their allowable 50 gram stash.


People who want to buy cannabis won’t have the person selling the cannabis saying, “I’ve run out of cannabis but I’ve got some great heroin, I’ve got some great amphetamines and cocaine today”,’ he said. 

Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson, who moved the private member’s bill to legalise the possession of pot, has revealed to Daily Mail Australia he ate a chocolate space cake in Amsterdam nine years ago.

‘I first used cannabis when I was in the Netherlands for a holiday,’ he said.

‘I would have been 19. I’ve experimented before as seen by that space cake in Amsterdam.’

Since that time, Mr Pettersson has tried marijuana in Australia a ‘handful’ of times – and he did inhale.


‘I don’t particularly enjoy recreational drugs,’ he said. 

‘Whilst I was in the Netherlands when I used it, cannabis is freely available in Australia and most people in Australia, if they wanted to smoke cannabis, could find a way.’

The ACT’s shadow attorney-general Jeremy Hanson fears the radical new law could lead to Amsterdam-style cafes opening in Canberra.

‘Under the laws pushed through by the Labor and Greens this week cannabis cannot yet be sold in cafes but it is clear that this is just the first step in a broader drug liberalisation agenda that may see Canberran laws end up similar to Amsterdam,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘This agenda should be of real concern to Canberrans given the current state of rampant drug use and out of control crime in Amsterdam.’


Dr Wodak, however, said the 50 gram limit for personal use was too small, adding the ACT needed to amend its laws to eventually allow cannabis to be regulated and sold legally.

‘It’s inevitable they will be amending these laws,’ he said. 

‘It’s better than what we had – good on the ACT for doing what they’ve done – but it’s going to need a lot of improvements.

‘We amend our alcohol and tobacco laws constantly – nobody thinks the current laws are perfect.’

Despite his space cake experience, Mr Petersson is not in favour of allowing cafes to sell joints and marijuana biscuits and cakes, arguing it wouldn’t be possible because the ACT only had the power to regulate possession but not the supply of drugs.


Since 1992, Canberrans caught with small quantities of marijuana have either been fined $100 or referred to a health professional.

About one-third of people caught with marijuana, however, ended up in court, facing a criminal conviction.

‘A criminal conviction can ruin someone’s life,’ Mr Pettersson said.

‘It limits someone’s ability to gain employment, to travel outside this country and for some people end up in jail.’

Dr Wodak has spoken out against random police drug tests for marijuana, after a study published last month in the Drug Testing and Analysis journal found flaws in the the method of detecting THC, the active chemical in cannabis.

Victoria was the first jurisdiction in the world to introduce roadside drug testing in 2004, with all the other states and territories since copying it.

‘It is unscientific and it’s not based on science,’ Dr Wodak said.

‘It’s expensive to operate and we will be currently convicting and punishing  innocent drivers and letting guilty drivers go free.’


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