Article by Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
Prominent pot activists Jodie and Marc Emery have pleaded guilty to a number of drug-related charges in a Toronto court.
Marc Emery, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pot,” pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for purpose of trafficking, trafficking marijuana and possession of proceeds of crime more than $5,000.
Jodie Emery pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.
Three others with ties to the Emerys pleaded guilty to similar charges.
The prosecution read out an agreed statement of facts that showed the substantial amount of cash earned at numerous dispensaries.
“Marc and Jodie Emery had established a sophisticated franchise model with the goal of operating dispensaries all across Canada,” said Crown attorney Kiran Gill.
She said police began Project Gator in 2016 to look into Cannabis Culture, the marijuana brand operated by the Emerys that moved into the burgeoning dispensary business.
The prosecution said it was able to piece together the vast sums of money involved after police raided various Cannabis Culture locations across the country along with raids at the company’s headquarters in Vancouver.
They found “tens of thousands of documents,” Gill said, from contracts to receipts.
First, franchisees had to pay Cannabis Culture a $25,000 franchise fee plus a $3,000 monthly fee. Marijuana and cannabis products, from weed to edibles to merchandise, had to be procured by the franchisee.