Pubdate: Tue, 19 Dec 2017
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2017 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Liam Casey
Page: A8


Fines, probation for Marc and Jodie Emery

TORONTO * Prominent pot activists Jodie and Marc Emery have been fined
and placed on probation after pleading guilty to a number of drug-
related charges in a Toronto court.

Marc Emery, the self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot," pleaded guilty to
possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, trafficking
marijuana and possession of proceeds of crime more than $5,000.

Jodie Emery pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for purpose of
trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.

Three others with ties to the Emerys pleaded guilty to similar

All other charges against the Emerys were dropped and the judge
accepted a joint recommendation for sentencing the couple.

Each must pay a $150,000 fine plus a $ 45,000 victim surcharge and
spend two years on probation with conditions to keep the peace and be
of good behaviour and not to participate, directly or indirectly, in
any illegal marijuana dispensaries.

"I think this fine is extraordinarily high; I even offered to go to
jail for a year, but they weren't interested," Marc Emery said to the

Jodie Emery t old t he judge she knew what she was doing was illegal
but was hoping in the future it would be legal.

"We thought we could make a really big impact on what legalization
should look like," she said.

The federal government is set to legalize recreational marijuana in
July, 2018, but its sale has been left up to the provinces.

The prosecution read out an agreed statement of facts Monday that
showed the substantial amount of cash earned at numerous

"Marc and Jodie Emery had established a sophisticated franchise model
with the goal of operating dispensaries all across Canada," said Crown
attorney Kiran Gill.

She said police began Project Gator in 2016 to look into Cannabis
Culture, the marijuana brand operated by the Emerys that moved into
the burgeoning dispensary business.

The prosecution said it was able to piece together the vast sums of
money involved after police raided various Cannabis Culture locations
across the country along with raids at the company's headquarters in

Franchisees had to pay Cannabis Culture a $ 25,000 franchise fee plus
a $ 3,000 monthly fee. Marijuana and cannabis products, from weed to
edibles to merchandise, had to be procured by the franchisee.

"Their marijuana is obtained illicitly," Gill told

Franchisees also had to pay six per cent to 10 per cent royalties on
total sales to Cannabis Culture, court heard.

A Cannabis Culture dispensary in downtown Toronto, owned by Marc Emery
and Christopher Goodwin, was sending $ 20,000 to $ 45,000 in weekly
royalties alone to headquarters in January, 2017, according to
transaction records police seized.

"That's not money generated by the franchise itself, just the six-
per-cent royalties," Gill said.

The couple's arrest at Toronto's Pearson International Airport in
March was followed by co-ordinated raids in several cities of pot
shops associated with them.

The Cannabis Culture brand was used at one point by a chain of 19
marijuana dispensaries in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, but
the number of stores has since dwindled to eight, according to their

Three other people arrested in March - 37-year-old Christopher Goodwin
and 31-year-old Erin Goodwin, both of Toronto, and 29-year-old Britney
Guerra of Stoney Creek, Ont. - also pleaded guilty to drug-related
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