Toronto Police Accuse Cannabis Culture of Having Links to Organized Crime

Article by The Canadian Press via The Globe and Mail

Marc Emery, foreground left, listens as defence lawyer, Jack Lloyd addresses the Justice of the Peace as Jodie Emery, centre right to left, Britney Guerra and Erin Goodwin look on in this courtroom sketch.

Police in Toronto are accusing Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensaries of being part of a “large franchise operation of alleged high-level drug traffickers.”

Prominent marijuana activists Marc and Jodie Emery — who own the Cannabis Culture brand — were granted bail Friday after their arrest on Wednesday.

Marc Emery faces 15 charges, including conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime, while Jodie Emery faces five similar counts.

Officers seized $250,000 in cash in several currencies, 65 kilograms of marijuana and 2.4 kilograms of cannabis extract and other drug paraphernalia after searching seven Cannabis Culture stores and several homes on Thursday, police said.

Given the amount of marijuana the stores “can only be supplied by illegitimate sources often tied to organized crime,” acting Insp. Steve Watts alleged.

“The public should know that this isn’t an altruistic venture, this is purely a profit-motivated venture,” Watts said. “Anyone with a prescription for marijuana can go through Health Canada, who have an abundant supply.”

Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said seven Cannabis Culture locations — five in Toronto, one in Hamilton and another in Vancouver — were searched on Thursday along with two homes in Toronto, one in Stoney Creek, Ont., and one in Vancouver.

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