Police have frozen a $1m home and nearly $190,000 belonging to the man who runs a gardening chain charged with supplying equipment and advice to cannabis growers.

But Switched On Gardener owner Michael Quinlan says he will pursue the Crown for millions of dollars in lost earnings if his company collapses and he succeeds in defending the charges.

Police sought restraining orders against Quinlan, owner of the 16 Switched On Gardener stores, in the High Court at Auckland this week.

No mention was made in court of what assets the police were seeking under a civil forfeiture law which came into force in December.

But Quinlan told the Weekend Herald that police had seized $189,000 in a bank account - money he planned to invest in his business, which had been hit hard after the police raids.

He also said his Gulf Harbour home - worth more than $1 million according to property records - had been restrained by police. This means Quinlan cannot sell the home or borrow money against it.

The company director said he understood why the Government had introduced the civil forfeiture law, and had no problem with his house being frozen.

"You can't have people accused of major crimes selling their assets off. But I'm not guilty of any crimes and I don't intend to sell my home."

However, he said, he had instructed his lawyers to apply to get the $189,000 back.

"We are going to fight that. The bank had instructed me to use that money to prop up the business.

"If I can't get that money and we go bust, then we win the court case, we'll be going after the Crown for our lost earnings."

He said the Switched On Gardener chain had an annual turnover of $16 million.

Quinlan, 50, is facing criminal charges after police raided 35 businesses and numerous homes at the end of a two-year undercover investigation, codenamed Operation Lime.

Switched on Gardener stores had been allowed to keep trading if staff followed tough bail conditions requested by police.

These required every customer to show identification and give their phone number, address and date of birth.

Some judges refused to impose the conditions, and in the Auckland District Court, Judge David Harvey has removed that bail condition for Quinlan. This has a flow-on effect for all those charged with him.

The Crown has appealed against Judge Harvey's decision, and a hearing will be held in the High Court at Auckland next week.

Quinlan said the bail conditions caused a 70 per cent drop in business during the three weeks they were in force.

He said the Crown appeal was a "waste of taxpayers' money" as up to nine district court judges had refused to impose the bail conditions.

Police said Operation Lime would "break the cornerstone of the illicit cannabis cultivation industry", and claimed the gardening chain would not have made a profit without supplying equipment and advice to cannabis growers.

Detective Inspector Stu Alsopp-Smith, who was in charge of the Auckland part of Operation Lime at the time of the arrests, said most of the businesses involved made their profit from supplying tools to grow cannabis.

"We believe a number of the businesses wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the cannabis market," he said.

"We believe most of the equipment sold by these outlets is used to cultivate cannabis."

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act used to freeze Quinlan's assets allows the proceeds of crime to be forfeited to the Crown based on the balance of probabilities.

It replaced a law which required police to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that assets were profits of crime.

Essentially, the change placed the onus on the owners to prove how they paid for or obtained frozen assets.