Sidney’s first recreational cannabis shop has a new name.
The business once known as Happy Buddha Cannabis now bears the name Truth + Alibi Cannabis Co.
The trio of entrepreneurs behind the business — Cindy Pendergast, her son son Zach and Brad Styles — dropped the original name in late summer as its religious reference drew criticism from members of the public.
Pendergast said in an earlier interview that she decided to change the name after hearing from a Thai woman who told her that she had concerns with the name, while wishing her well.
“She had no problem with cannabis either,” said Pendergast. “She said, ‘It’s a sacred name to us’ and we said, as we said in our window, we are here to lift people up. We will never, ever, ever, ever bring people down. So for us, it was a no-brainer. We would never want to hurt anyone.”
Complaints about the name and its eventual change were the latest in a series of twists around the business.
Sidney councillors signalled their support in late September after they had initially rejected its first application, with the central issue being the business’ contravention of the municipality’s requirement for transparent windows along Beacon Avenue.
The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCRB), the provincial agency licensing cannabis retail locations, at the time required opaque windows, a requirement since dropped.
The entrepreneurs later successfully challenged council’s decision in court. It is not yet clear though when the business will open. A sign placed inside the store front thanks would-be customers for their patience.
“We will be open very soon, ” it reads.
The Peninsula News Review has reached out to the business for comment.
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