Police on Thursday morning descended on Cannabis Culture stores in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa, conducting raids on the dispensaries and arresting staff members as owners Marc and Jodie Emery awaited a bail hearing in Toronto.
Canadian media picked up the story as store operators and supporters broadcast news of the raids on social media.
— Cannabis Culture (@CannabisCulture) March 9, 2017
The British Columbia-based couple, well known in Canada as outspoken cannabis legalization advocates, were arrested on Wednesday night at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. The couple openly operates 20 dispensaries across Canada, including five locations in Toronto.
“It appears they were arrested at the airport and not as part of a raid,” lawyer Kirk Tousaw, who has advised the Emerys in the past, posted to Facebook on Wednesday night. It’s not immediately clear what charges, if any, the two face. Tousaw told CTV that their detention is “likely related to dispensaries.”
By morning, Tousaw had another update. Authorities in Toronto, he said, had “enlisted Vancouver police to execute warrants” at Cannabis Culture headquarters in British Columbia as raids continued in Toronto.
Shortly after 9 a.m. Pacific, Tousaw, a NORML Canada board member, posted again. At least three Cannabis Culture associates, including two identified on Facebook as a Cannabis Culture store owner and a store manager in Toronto, had been arrested in the raids, Tousaw wrote.
Leafly will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.