The seeds he sold were used to grow a highly prized type of marijuana called British Columbia bud, or "BC Bud." Only the bud of the plant is sold for smoking, making it much more potent — and expensive — than it was back in the days when people smoked crushed marijuana leaves and went to Woodstock.
"It is very powerful. It has a reputation — it's almost been marketed, this, marijuana from British Columbia is great pot," McKay said.
Asked if there is something special about "BC Bud" or whether it is a marketing ploy, Emery said, "They've had a wonderful marketing man in charge of that campaign, yours truly."
He marketed the grass. He marketed the movement. He used the money he made selling seeds literally as seed money to finance the campaign to legalize marijuana in Canada and the United States.
His goal is to make marijuana a controlled substance like alcohol. Emery only smokes in moderation, he says, but he enjoys blowing it in the face of cops, as a provocation.
One such smoke-blowing incident got him arrested, but in tolerant Canada, he was only held for 24 hours.
He also produces and often stars in an online video show, Pot TV. His strategy, he says, is not to overthrow the government but to overgrow the government, spreading marijuana seeds throughout the world and winning the drug war against the United States.
"The whole idea was that I would help facilitate the growth of so much marijuana that the DEA and all the agencies of the United States would ever be able to destroy it at the rate I would help create it and that, ultimately, I, one man, would neutralize the work of the entire DEA with their multi-billion dollar budget," Emery said.
While Emery was busy being the self-proclaimed "Johnny Appleseed of Marijuana," the DEA was busy investigating him.
Last summer, the Canadian police — at the request of the U.S. government — shut down his seed business and arrested Emery, who is now out on bail.
Was he surprised that the DEA spent 18 months and a lot of money to get him charged?
"I'm flattered," said Emery.
Why spend so much time and money investigating a seed seller? Because under U.S. law, selling seeds is the same as selling marijuana itself. And selling "BC Bud" makes Emery part of a multi-billion dollar business the United States wants to crush.
"We have a huge regional, national and international issue here in the growing of marijuana in lower British Columbia," McKay said. "That's a major problem for us. His activities are kind of at the leading edge of that marijuana problem. That's the thing that really concerns us."
Asked if the problem is growing, McKay said: "Absolutely. And literally."
And it's growing in some of the nicest neighborhoods in Vancouver. So much marijuana is grown inside homes in Vancouver that there's a special unit in the local police force called "Grow Busters."
They raid homes — often expensive ones — that have been turned into indoor marijuana farms, called grow-ops. The police estimate there could be as many as 20,000 houses like this in British Columbia.
Each room has plants at different stages of growth. The Grow Busters cut down the plants and put the grow-ops out of business. But they grow back as quickly as they're shut down and, since Canadian courts have been soft on marijuana offenses, growers rarely get much jail time, making this a high profit, low risk business.