(This story has been updated.)

Cannabis Culture owners Jodie and Marc Emery and three others appeared in court at Toronto’s Old City Hall today to face drug trafficking, conspiracy and possession charges.

The Emerys, along with fellow activists Chris and Erin Goodwin and Britney Guerra, have been released on $30,000 bail each, Cannabis Culture announced on Facebook.

The Emerys were arrested on Wednesday night at Pearson International Airport while trying to make their way to a festival in Europe, and Toronto police led a series of raids at Cannabis Culture outlets in several different cities.

2017-03-09 11.11.49A total of seven businesses in Toronto,Vancouver and Hamilton were targeted in what Toronto cops dubbed Project Gator, and police seized computers, money and large amounts of cannabis. Police also searched private residences in Toronto, Stoney Creek and Vancouver.

Police also raided an outlet in Ottawa in what they claim is unrelated to those coordinated by Toronto police.

Many of the shops have since reopened.

The crown is reportedly seeking large dollar value sureties (money/property put up to secure compliance with bail conditions) and restrictions on their freedom if released. The couple is being represented by lawyer Jack Lloyd. Both the crown and defence have requested more time to review bail conditions. Proceedings have been complicated by the justice of the peace presiding over the hearing feeling sick and heading to the hospital.

 

“History will judge us poorly for this immoral and unjust war on peaceful people and a simple, beneficial plant,” said Vancouver-based lawyer and social justice advocate Kirk Tousaw. “Coordinated countrywide raids attempting, futilely, to enforce an outdated and harmful law degrades public confidence in the administration of justice, wastes valuable taxpayer funds, wastes scarce police, prosecutorial and judicial resources and benefits precisely no one.”

The same day the five were arrested, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott was promising legislation on recreational use of cannabis would be tabled by June.

“We made a commitment last April that we would introduce legislation in the spring of 2017,” she told reporters yesterday. “I know spring is around the corner and spring runs until June 21, and we are firm in our commitment to having that legislation in place.”

The Emerys are facing numerous charges, as are fellow activists Chris and Erin Goodwin, and Britney Guerra.

Marc Emery, 59, is charged with:

1) Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence

2) Three counts of Trafficking Schedule II

3) Five counts of Possession for the Purpose Schedule II

4) Five counts of Possession Proceeds of Crime

5) Fail-to-Comply Recognizance

 

Jodie Emery, 32, is charged with:

1) Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence

2) Trafficking Schedule II

3) Possession for the Purpose Schedule II

4) Two counts of Possession Proceeds of Crime

 

Chris Goodwin, 37, is charged with:

1) Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence

2) Possession for the Purpose Schedule II

3) Possession Proceeds of Crime

 

Erin Goodwin, 31, is charged with:

1) Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence

2) Fail-to-Comply Recognizance

 

Britney Guerra, 29, is charged with:

1) Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence

2) Three counts of Possession for the Purpose Schedule II

3) Three counts of Possession Proceeds of Crime

 

Marc Emery’s failure-to-comply charge stems from a December arrest in Montreal  after six newly opened Cannabis Culture shops were raided by police. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond and conditions that included being prohibited from consuming cannabis, entering places that produce or sell cannabis, or communicating with anyone linked to Cannabis Culture operations in Montreal.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.