Plans for a cannabis store in the 7700-block of West Saanich Road in Brentwood Bay Village are still alive after Central Saanich councillors asked the province for input before rendering a decision. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Proposal for Brentwood Bay pot shop still on the table

Central Saanich councillors deferred a decision until hearing from the province

Plans for a pot shop in the Brentwood Bay Village neighbourhood of Central Saanich received a lifeline as councillors meeting as the committee of the whole deferred a decision.

Staff had recommended rejecting the proposed pot shop in the 7700-block of West Saanich Road, 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.

Coun. Niall Paltiel voted against the deferral with Mayor Ryan Windsor and Coun. Zeb King absent.

Paltiel said staff and police had given him enough information to reject the proposed store.

“Due to concerns identified by Central Saanich Police Service, staff are recommending the proposal be denied,” said Andrea Pickard, a planner in the report.

The Peninsula News Review has reached out to Central Saanich Police for comment and will update this story accordingly.

RELATED: Popular unlicensed Victoria cannabis dispensary shut down by province

The report does not reveal the department’s concerns. But municipal guidelines require applicants to submit what the report calls a police information check, “which would include a review of criminal records or other police records, for the business owner, manager, or full-time employees who would be working at the establishment.”

Central Saanich received the application from Ben Hinton, a Vancouver Island cannabis activist and entrepreneur. Police had arrested Hinton before releasing him without charge in April 2016 after raiding the Campbell River branch of Trees Dispensary, an Island-wide chain of dispensaries currently suspended from operations.

A letter to councillors, presumably from Hinton himself, describes Hinton as a “vocal advocate of access to cannabis across central Vancouver lsland for a number of years,” who has “lobbied many of the local governments including Nanaimo and North Cowichan to create regulations for retail sales in order to provide safe access to cannabis.”

According to the letter, Hinton has been involved in the cannabis industry for about a decade, having acquired his licence to possess dried cannabis through the Federal Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations in 2014 and most recently worked as the mid-lsland district manager for Trees – lsland Grown.

The letter does not mention Hinton’s contact with law enforcement officials.

But if council has an obligation to follow the recommendation of police, it is also legitimate for councillors to wait until the provincial government has offered its assessment before issuing a temporary use permit for the proposed business, said Paltiel. He added that he is not against the industry per se, pointing to his support for Central Saanich’s first cannabis retail store, approved in May in the 6700-block of Veyaness Road in Keating. Staff are currently preparing another application for the Brentwood Bay Village.


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

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

Program makes a connection with isolated Victoria seniors

Phoning Seniors Together program lines up volunteers with seniors at Luther Court

West Shore businesses bring fitness online during COVID-19

At-home workouts offered to help community keep fit

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Most Read