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

Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin receives first poppy in Legion-led ceremony

The ceremony is one of the first steps to kick off the 2019 poppy campaign

Federal Election 2019: Esquimalt–Saanich–Sooke

Meet your candidates and more information on how to cast your ballot

Pacific FC parts ways with head coach before season’s end

Club says the parting is mutual and takes effect immediately

Sidney wasn’t and isn’t considering leaving current library system, says mayor

Current plans call for a review of library services in 2022

Victoria requests cruise ship visit cap while seeking limit on ship emissions

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Fashion Fridays: 5 things to remove from your closet

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

LETTER: Bring medicine into our public health-care system

Let’s implement a universal single-payer public pharmacare system, says reader

Sooke Region Museum hosts Halloween ghost tour

Tales of hauntings and disasters in the offing

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

Most Read