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

Invasive English holly poses threat to Island’s eco-system

Not so jolly holly, say conservationists, as invasive species attacks indigenous plants

Victoria Foundation’s community grants support 109 local non-profits

Foundation delivers $2.8 million in grant money to local organizations

Mainly cloudy skies, chance of showers ahead for Friday

Plus a look ahead at the weekend’s forecast

Woman injured during West Shore RCMP arrest prompts police watchdog investigation

IIO investigating to determine if police action or inaction linked to woman’s injuries

Sooke hospice services a ‘hidden gem’

Hospice care at Ayre Manor not well known enough, say officials

Fashion Fridays: A masterclass on H&M knitwear

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

‘He was good for the West:’ Sadness, surprise in Saskatchewan over Scheer

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and his predecessor, Brad Wall, both thanked Andrew Scheer

Poll suggests travellers know little about air-passenger rights

The first set of passenger-rights rules landed in mid-July and the rest this weekend

Johnson claims Brexit mandate with new conservative majority

Conservative Party wins 365 seats in the House of Commons

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Most Read