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

The salmon run has also begun at Goldstream Provincial Park for the 2020 season. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Salmon returning to Sooke River

Charters Salmon Interpretive Centre closed but trails remain open

The clearing of the land for the new Vancouver Island Regional Library in Sooke began Thursday. The $7.5-million building on Wadams Way between Anna Marie and Townsend roads will include more than 14,400 square feet of space, children’s area fireplace lounge, laptop bar and community space. The library is expected to open in spring 2022. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Ground-breaking for the new Sooke library

New Sooke library expected be completed by spring 2020

Sooke Elementary kindergarteners Zoe Sperrer (left), Christel Loutet, Chase MacKay and Gr. 5 Jace Ferris are helping to plant a native plant garden on their school property. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke Elementary plants native plant garden with help from community

Sooke Elementary teachers, students expand backyard garden

Saanich police are warning residents that rutting season has begun and deer may get their antlers tangled in items left in yards. (Saanich Police Department/Twitter)
Deer with items tangled in antlers spotted in Saanich as rutting season begins

Police, B.C. Conservation Service warn of possibly aggressive bucks through fall

Saanich South Liberal candidate Rishi Sharma commits to addressing issues at the five-way intersection of Interurban and Wilkinson roads in partnership with the municipality if elected. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich South Liberal candidate commits to improving Interurban/Wilkinson intersection

‘Confusing five-way intersection,’ needs attention, Rishi Sharma says

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

The Cowichan Steelheads’ Jesus Martinez (left) and the Cowichan 49ers’ Daryl Rodgers chase down the ball during Saturday night’s all-Cowichan clash at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan masters derby takes unexpected turn with broken leg

Soccer community comes together in midst of battle

Larry Whetstone is concerned about the condition of Jeffries Road, where he has lived for 30 years. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Poor condition of rural road in Cowichan has resident fed up

Transportation Ministry says repair plan under development

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Most Read