Cannabis Culture stores have been closed for good after being the target of Toronto Police raids. Many have praised Cannabis Culture as demonstrating what legalization should look like. Despite the overwhelming shift in attitudes toward marijuana and the looming federal legalization, police launched a full scale assault on the chain of dispensaries, bringing an end to the Cannabis Culture era. One has to question the motivations of police who are stalwart on their desire to shut down marijuana dispensaries in the face of a cultural revolution centered around cannabis.
Cannabis Culture stores were opened by Marc Emery, otherwise known as the ‘Prince of Pot.’ He is no stranger to the cannabis world, nor the inside of a jail cell. Emery has been targeted by not only Toronto Police, but Vancouver Police and the DEA as well. In 2005, at the request of US officials, Emery was arrested and charged for operating a seed distribution company. He was extradited to the US where he served part of a five year sentence for his role in cannabis distribution. He was sentenced in 2010 and released in 2014. He called his incarceration one of political motivation.
Emery and his wife Jodie didn’t waste any time getting back in to the business. They opened six Cannabis Culture stores as an ‘act of civil disobedience.’ He defied the local and federal governments and made the decision to sell to any adult of legal age. Toronto Police set out to make an example of Emery. All six dispensaries were raided, yet despite the raids, Emery kept the doors open. This resulted in one of his stores being raided three times in a two week period. Emery and his wife have been charged with criminal conspiracy, drug trafficking and a slew of other charges related to their business.
In all, the police seized more than 5,000 grams of marijuana, 256 grams of concentrates, dozens of vape pens, oils and THC capsules. Critics of Emery say that his arrest has nothing to do with the legal and regulated medical marijuana industry. Lawyers who have chimed in on his arrest say that Emery knew what he was doing before he got started. Opening a chain of dispensaries only to be shut down weeks later while knowing his product was not legal was a costly gamble for Emery, who may now end up back in prison. With pending legalization, is it possible that the court system will go easy on Emery, or will they throw the book at him due to his history of bucking the system?
Prosecutions of marijuana related cases are a waste of time and money for the prosecutors and the police. Locking away Marc Emery for nearly five years did nothing but give him the determination to start over and try again. For the time being, Emery and his wife have been prohibited from engaging in any marijuana business and to abstain from any and all cannabis consumption. They are vowing to fight the charges in court, but which way the case will go, is anyone’s guess.
Davie is a long time cannabis professional who has worked not only as a cultivator but in all aspects of retail cannabis. From budtender, to wholesale and retail management, and from harvester to advanced hydroponic specialist, Davie has been around the block more than once. Now residing in beautiful British Columbia, Davie now works with acres of greenhouses, producing some of the best buds in the country.