Canada's 'Prince of Pot,' Marc Emery, released after arrest in Montreal marijuana shop raids

Cannabis activist and his wife, Jodie Emery, were arrested after opening shops in defiance of pot laws

Posted: December 17, 2016
Last Updated: December 17, 2016

Marc Emery was arrested along with nine others on Friday evening during a widescale raid held by the Montreal police. (Radio-Canada)

The man known as Canada's "Prince of Pot" says he's "feeling good" after spending a night in a Montreal jail.

Marc Emery, who operates an illegal chain of marijuana shops under the name of "Cannabis Culture," was arrested along with nine others on Friday evening during a series of raids by Montreal police.

Police were targeting six new Cannabis Culture locations that had just opened the day before.


Emery, who was working at the store on Mont-Royal Avenue, is now charged with drug trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy.

Emery was released after posting a $5,000 bond and is prohibited from consuming cannabis, entering places that produce or sell cannabis, or communicating with anyone linked to Cannabis Culture operations in Montreal.

Speaking to reporters after his release on Saturday, Emery said he is not allowed to stay in Quebec and can only return if it is for a court date.

It's unclear if the stores will reopen, he added, because he cannot be in the province and authorities are pressuring the landlords to keep the locations closed.

On Saturday, Montreal police officers were seen checking the properties to ensure that they were not in operation.

Emery said he was looking forward to fighting the charges in court. He also took a moment to denounce the actions of Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.


"The mayor's behaviour is despicable," he said.

"If the mayor of Montreal wants to keep his city backward, behind and full of oppression, than that is the statement he just made to the world."

Watch: Marc Emery arrested in Montreal

Cannabis Culture operates shops in 12 locations across British Columbia and Ontario. On Thursday six new locations opened up in Montreal and four more were slated to open up by the end of December.

In an earlier interview, Emery's wife, Jodie, said the locations in Montreal will be operated by a franchisee.


Jodie Emery was also arrested on Friday, but released later that day.

Police spokesman Daniel Lacoursi√®re said of the 10 people arrested, there were six men and four women whose ages ranged from 18 to 58 years old.

Money, equipment and more then 18 kilograms of marijuana were seized during the raids. 

The others arrested with Emery were released on a promise to appear.

The situation is nothing new for Marc Emery who has been arrested numerous times over the years for his refusal to abide by laws concerning cannabis in Canada and the U.S.


'We have to respect the current law'

The Canadian government is expected to table legislation legalizing cannabis in the spring, but current federal laws still prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana.

Mayor Denis Coderre told CBC Saturday that instead of putting energy into this stunt, the Emerys should be concentrating on how they'll operate legally in the future. 

Mayor Denis Coderre says the current laws have to be respected. (CBC)

"We know that legalization will happen. So let's all put our energy in the process itself. And during that time, we have a law to respect. Period."

"Justin Trudeau, Philippe Couillard, everybody, we're at the same page," said Coderre. "We have to respect the current law. Period. And police are there to apply the law."