Cindy Pendergast, here seen with her business partner Brad Styles in December 2019, say they are looking for a new name for their business after dropping the moniker Happy Buddha Cannabis. Council voted 6-1 to signal their support for the application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, which will make the final decision. (Black Press Media file photo)

Cindy Pendergast, here seen with her business partner Brad Styles in December 2019, say they are looking for a new name for their business after dropping the moniker Happy Buddha Cannabis. Council voted 6-1 to signal their support for the application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, which will make the final decision. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sidney entrepreneurs drop Buddha from name of proposed cannabis shop

Store owners currently running a naming contest

A trio of entrepreneurs planning to open Sidney’s first recreational cannabis retail location are currently searching for a name after dropping their original name, Happy Buddha Cannabis.

Cindy Pendergast, who plans to open the business with Brad Styles and her son Zach Pendergast, said she decided to change the name after hearing from a Thai woman who told her that she has a problem with the name, while nonetheless wishing her well and no harm.

“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.”

RELATED: Sidney resident lights up proposed cannabis store for being insensitive toward Buddhism

RELATED:Sidney drops notification of schools, daycares and parents before hearing on cannabis store

RELATED: Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

RELATED: Sidney’s first-ever pot store application flames out before council

The question of the name had come up earlier this fall as the business was preparing for a second and ultimately successful hearing before council, with councillors signalling by a margin of 6-1 their support for the business to be located in the 2400-block of Beacon Avenue, with the final decision now before the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch. A hearing 11 months earlier saw councillors deny the application by a 4-3 margin.

Sidney resident Richard Talbot said earlier that the store’s proposed name of Happy Buddha Cannabis is “really insulting toward anybody who is a Buddhist or who has Buddhist friends.”

Styles added the decision to change the name was easy, with the company now running a naming contest.

“I would have to say business wise, we have been told by our designer and also by some learned people, ‘Don’t change the name because you have publicity that people would die for. But we promised that we would.”

Pendergast said the business has so far received an estimated three dozen submissions. “And I would say a majority of them mention the word ‘Beacon.’”

Pendergast and Styles said initially they chose the name to reflect a “light-hearted and open” worldview.

“As experienced retailers of over 20 years and responsible parents and neighbours we always respect good dialogue,” they said in an earlier note to the Peninsula News Review. They said the Buddha name and symbol “are commonly seen, accepted and respected within personal and business environments” as any cursory Internet search would show.

But that note also signalled that they would be prepared to change their name. “While we love the name Happy Buddha, we are also of the opinion that life, well-lived, should be about listening, learning and growing,” they said.

According to the Pew Research Centre, Buddhists made up 7.1 per cent of the world’s population in 2010, with just under 488 million. Countries with large Buddhist majorities include Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar, with China home to the largest number of Buddhists in excess of 240 million. Sizable Buddhist populations also exist in Japan and South Korea.

According to the 2011 census, Canada was home to 366,830 Buddhists, about 1.1 per cent of the population. Greater Victoria was home to 3,835 Buddhists in 2011. It is not clear how many Buddhists live in Sidney specifically and the Saanich Peninsula specifically.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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

Just Posted

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

An employee at Sidney’s Thrifty Foods tested positive for COVID-19, the parent company Sobeys posted on its website Wednesday. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
COVID-19 case reported at Sidney grocery store

Thrifty Foods employee last worked at the store April 3

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

Acclaimed author Eden Robinson hosts a virtual conversation and reading from her latest book, Return of the Trickster, on Friday, April 23, in conjunction with the Vancouver Island Regional Library. (Photo courtesy of VIRL)
Island author brings Trickster in online library event

Fans of the work of Eden Robinson will get the opportunity to… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

Most Read