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

Just Posted

Victoria feels the pinch at the pump as gas prices jump 18 cents

Gas up to 157.9 cents per litre at some stations

For Central Saanich couple, fight against MS is a matter of family

Altenkirks sell greeting cards and wooden bowls to raise money for MS Society

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Coast Collective ready to Raise the Roof with Langford art auction

The fundraiser is Friday, Oct 18 at the Royal Canadian Legion on Station Road

Saanich residents planning Halloween fireworks displays must plan ahead

Folks are required to attend one of three safety courses, buy a permit

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read