Toronto police have raided two more Cannabis Culture medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, almost two weeks after search warrants were executed at several of Marc and Jodie Emery’s locations in Ontario and B.C.
Nine people were charged after police raided dispensaries located at 711 Queen St. E. and 2889 St. Clair Ave. E. Wednesday around 11 a.m.
“It breaks my heart knowing that good people are being arrested and jailed,” former owner Jodie Emery told Global News from Vancouver.
“It’s scary seeing so much brute force used against peaceful non-violent people and to know that this government is simply trying to stomp out the dispensaries in advance of the very prohibitionist regulations that they will be introducing.”
VIDEO: Marijuana activists Marc and Jodie Emery spoke out after high-profile arrests
Jawal Bacchus, 24, Shaniqua Richards, 24, Rebecca Percy, 26, all of Toronto, and Demenko Young-King, 24, of Oshawa, Ont., were arrested at the Queen Street location and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds obtained by crime.
Brandon Gordon, 23, Patrick Forar, 53, Tristan Trotman, 23, Cameron Laughlan, 23, and Mikal Alkithiry, 22, all of Toronto, were arrested at the St. Clair Avenue location. They were charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of cannabis resin, possession of cannabis resin for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds obtained by crime.
All of the suspects were scheduled to appear in a Toronto court Thursday. Police said the total number of drugs and money seized are as follows:
- 5,159.29 grams of marijuana
- 256.54 grams of hash
- 65 marijuana vape pens
- 40 units of marijuana oil
- 827.98 grams of marijuana “shatter”
- 1.85 grams of THC crystalline powder
- 57 THC capsules
- $7,048.25 in Canadian currency
The Emerys were forced to divest from the 19 Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensaries they own across Canada after Toronto police said executed raids on seven dispensaries and four homes in connection with an investigation dubbed Project Gator on March 9.
Five Cannabis Culture locations in Toronto, one in Hamilton and one in Vancouver were raided and police said a total of five people had been charged across the country in connection with the investigation. Toronto police said search warrants were also executed on two Toronto residences, one in Vancouver and one in Stoney Creek, Ont.
“I saw that on the same day the raids happened at Cannabis Culture, when I was arrested, the city was using bylaw enforcement against another chain — so they received the soft gloves we received a stomping to the face,” Jodie Emery said Wednesday.
“The Toronto police and the federal government don’t want Cannabis Culture to exist.”
The couple were arrested at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport March 8 and were released on bail March 10.
Marc Emery faces 15 charges, 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.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5400 or 416-808-5500 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).