Canada’s self−styled "Prince of Pot" is facing drug charges after being arrested at one of his newly−opened cannabis boutiques in Montreal.
Marc Emery appeared in court today via videoconference where he was charged with drug trafficking, possession for purposes of trafficking, and conspiracy.
He was released on $5,000 bail and must respect various conditions, including not communicating with his co−accused and not consuming narcotics in Quebec without a prescription.
He can also not be in a place where narcotics are sold in Quebec.
Emery was one of 10 people arrested Friday night when police raided the stores the day after their grand opening. The other nine people were released earlier on a promise to appear in court.
Emery’s case returns to court on February 15.
Speaking earlier Saturday, Montreal’s mayor said police were doing their jobs and upholding the law when they launched the raids.
Denis Coderre said that opening the stores was a pointless stunt since federal legislation legalizing marijuana use is expected in the spring.
"What I don’t understand is, legalization of marijuana is going to happen, so why do this kind of stunt?" he told reporters at an unrelated event in Montreal.
Cannabis Culture, the brand owned by the Emerys, already has a dozen other shops across Canada.
On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Montreal "until we’ve changed the law, the current laws exist and apply."
Ottawa is moving "properly and responsibly," to legalize marijuana, Trudeau said, but the current law governing cannabis will stand until new legislation is passed.
Banner image: The Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensary in Montreal is closed after police raids late last week at illegal dispensaries that had opened in the city. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)