Plans for a cannabis store in the 7700-block of West Saanich Road in Brentwood Bay Village are still alive after Central Saanich councillors asked the province for input before rendering a decision. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Proposal for Brentwood Bay pot shop still on the table

Central Saanich councillors deferred a decision until hearing from the province

Plans for a pot shop in the Brentwood Bay Village neighbourhood of Central Saanich received a lifeline as councillors meeting as the committee of the whole deferred a decision.

Staff had recommended rejecting the proposed pot shop in the 7700-block of West Saanich Road, 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.

Coun. Niall Paltiel voted against the deferral with Mayor Ryan Windsor and Coun. Zeb King absent.

Paltiel said staff and police had given him enough information to reject the proposed store.

“Due to concerns identified by Central Saanich Police Service, staff are recommending the proposal be denied,” said Andrea Pickard, a planner in the report.

The Peninsula News Review has reached out to Central Saanich Police for comment and will update this story accordingly.

RELATED: Popular unlicensed Victoria cannabis dispensary shut down by province

The report does not reveal the department’s concerns. But municipal guidelines require applicants to submit what the report calls a police information check, “which would include a review of criminal records or other police records, for the business owner, manager, or full-time employees who would be working at the establishment.”

Central Saanich received the application from Ben Hinton, a Vancouver Island cannabis activist and entrepreneur. Police had arrested Hinton before releasing him without charge in April 2016 after raiding the Campbell River branch of Trees Dispensary, an Island-wide chain of dispensaries currently suspended from operations.

A letter to councillors, presumably from Hinton himself, describes Hinton as a “vocal advocate of access to cannabis across central Vancouver lsland for a number of years,” who has “lobbied many of the local governments including Nanaimo and North Cowichan to create regulations for retail sales in order to provide safe access to cannabis.”

According to the letter, Hinton has been involved in the cannabis industry for about a decade, having acquired his licence to possess dried cannabis through the Federal Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations in 2014 and most recently worked as the mid-lsland district manager for Trees – lsland Grown.

The letter does not mention Hinton’s contact with law enforcement officials.

But if council has an obligation to follow the recommendation of police, it is also legitimate for councillors to wait until the provincial government has offered its assessment before issuing a temporary use permit for the proposed business, said Paltiel. He added that he is not against the industry per se, pointing to his support for Central Saanich’s first cannabis retail store, approved in May in the 6700-block of Veyaness Road in Keating. Staff are currently preparing another application for the Brentwood Bay Village.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Esquimalt speed skating week helps province determine find fastest skater

Speed Week takes place on Dec. 17 at Archie Browning arena

Longtime Saanich drama group brings pirates onstage for traditional Christmas pantomime

St. Luke’s Players present Treasure Island Dec. 18 to Jan. 4

Goldstream church offers free festive feast

Gordon United Church says all are welcome to attend Monday’s meal

VIDEO: Over 2,000 pounds of food collected for annual View Royal Fire Santa Run

Non-perishables, plus more than $3000 raised for Goldstream Food Bank

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read