Marijuana activists Marc and Jodie Emery were granted bail in a Toronto court Friday, after police conducted coordinated raids on several of their marijuana dispensaries in British Columbia and Ontario.
WATCH: Marc and Jodie Emery speak with the media outside of a Toronto courthouse after being released on bail
“We’ve been on the front lines of legalization advocacy for 20 plus years for Marc Emery, 13 years for myself. It is wrong and unjust that the police and the drug squad are forcing us to be stripped literally of everything we have built,” Jodie Emery said outside of court Friday evening.
The self-proclaimed “Prince” and “Princess of Pot” were arrested at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport Wednesday night as they were reportedly heading to Barcelona, Spain to attend a cannabis expo. Both appeared briefly in a courtroom on Thursday afternoon where charges were revealed.
WATCH: 5 suspects swept up in marijuana dispensary raids released on bail. Marianne Dimain reports.
Marc Emery faces 15 counts, including conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of proceeds of crime, while Jodie Emery is charged with five similar counts.
Cannabis Culture franchise owners Chris Goodwin, 37, Erin Goodwin, 31, and Britney Guerra, 29, were also arrested and charged with similar offences.
All five were released on $30,000 bail with strict instructions not to have contact with each other, with drugs, the dispensaries or to leave the province.
The Emerys own the Cannabis Culture brand, which is used by a chain of 19 marijuana dispensaries in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
Five Cannabis Culture locations in Toronto, one in Hamilton and one in Vancouver were raided and police said search warrants were also executed on two Toronto residences, one in Vancouver and one in Stoney Creek, Ont.
Tammy Robbinson, spokeswoman for the City of Toronto’s municipal licensing and standards division, said the sale of marijuana in retail stores is illegal under federal law and in violation of the city’s zoning bylaws, adding other dispensaries could be targeted in the future.
Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said they don’t have the resources to shut down every dispensary in the city, so investigators “prioritize” the execution of search warrants.
With files from Nick Westoll and The Canadian Press
VIDEO: Marc and Jodie Emery facing charges after arrest at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport