The Central Saanich Police Department has some concerns regarding a proposed cannabis dispensary. (Black Press Media file photo)

Negative history with police raises red flags for proposed Brentwood Bay dispensary

Applicant confident and ‘eagerly awaiting provincial approval’

A history of negative police interactions and involvement with illegal dispensaries is causing some concern for the Central Saanich Police Department in regards to a proposal for a Brentwood Bay cannabis shop.

When asked why police flagged an application from Ben Hinton to open and operate a cannabis retail store in the 7700-block of West Saanich Road, Deputy Chief Derren Lench said “Hinton had some prior negative interactions with police in other jurisdictions.”

Lynch declined to describe them in detail, acknowledging they were dated.

RELATED: Proposal for Brentwood Bay pot shop still on the table

Lench also pointed to Hinton’s history of operating illegal dispensaries. Lynch said the dispensaries have been and continue to remain illegal because they were selling what was at the time an illegal product.

Police arrested Hinton, a long-time entrepreneur and advocate for cannabis, before releasing him without charge in April 2016, after raiding the Campbell River branch of Trees – lsland Grown, an Island-wide chain of dispensaries currently suspended from operations.

This history raises questions about Hinton’s character, Lench said. “I’m looking at his character as a business owner in Brentwood Bay.”

Lench acknowledged that Hinton is now trying to open and operate a legal business.

Hinton’s application, however, remains on the table after Central Saanich councillors meeting as the committee of the whole deferred a decision.

Staff had recommended rejecting the proposal but a majority of councillors instead decided to hold off on making a decision until the provincial government has completed its assessment of the application, a process that may take some time.

Hinton did not directly respond to Lynch’s comments about his character and past interactions with police. Nor did he respond to the question of whether he feels treatly unfairly in the present for past actions.

Hinton said in an emailed statement to the Peninsula News Review that he is “eagerly awaiting provincial approval” for the proposed location in thanking council and staff. Hinton said Brentwood Bay has been a part of his whole life and he looks forward to opening a business that will offer customer service and community engagement while being compliant. “We are confident that we will have approval by the end of 2019 and be open in early 2020 to serve the community,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

2020 Budget: ICBC shortfall continues ahead of new rate-reduction plan

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

Forest industry supporters and convoy arrive at B.C. legislature

Rally delivers petition in favour of ‘working forests’

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward in light of recent arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

Scholarship launched to honour three men who died in Sooke River

Sooke School District award will be given annually to a student graduating from EMCS

Updated: Sightseeing airplane crashes in Saanich farm

Two sent to hospital with minor injuries after Cessna 172 crash at 8:55 a.m.

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Budget 2020: B.C. NDP taps top tax bracket for more revenue

Minimum wage set to pass $15 an hour by 2021

Budget 2020: Not much new for B.C.’s struggling forest industry

Focus on wood waste utilization, efficiency, ministry budget cut

Skull reconstruction gives new insight into unknown man found in B.C. cemetery

RCMP released a 3-D skull reconstruction of a man who was found dead on July 2, 1998

Ten poisoned eagles rushed to veterinary hospital in Nanaimo

Eagles stricken after eating flesh of euthanized animal at Nanaimo Regional Landfill

Trudeau says Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country

First Nations leaders suggest it may be time to peacefully end the blockades

Kids exposed to household cleaners as newborns more likely to get asthma: B.C. study

Air fresheners, plug-in deodorizers, antimicrobial hand sanitizers and oven cleaners were the worst culprits

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read