Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
A Sidney, B.C. resident is taking issue with the name of what could become the city’s first cannabis store, arguing that Happy Buddha Cannabis is clearly insensitive and lacks respect for the Buddhist faith.
Not a Buddhist himself, Richard Talbot, whose family has ties to India, contends the moniker is “really insulting toward anybody who is a Buddhist or who has Buddhist friends,” according to Victoria News. Talbot spelled out his concerns and shock — “How on Earth would that have gone under the radar” — in a letter to Sidney city councillors.
The councillors are scheduled to hear arguments in late September for and against businesses that have applied to set up shop in the 2400-block of Beacon Avenue.
Happy Buddha Cannabis is among those, with the store, if approved, to open at 2410 Beacon Ave. Sidney City Council adopted a bylaw amendment in August 2019 to allow cannabis retail in certain parts of the Downtown Commercial zone. Manufacturing and processing of cannabis products is also permitted in the Industrial zone in Sidney Business Park.
The name was chosen, say company owners Cindy Pendergast and Brad Styles, to reflect a light-hearted and open worldview, reports Peninsula News Review. As both a name and symbol, Buddha is “commonly seen, accepted and respected within personal and business environments,” the owners said, adding that they are always “listening, learning and growing.”
Notes the company website, “We are humble and compassionate. Happy Buddha treats everyone with respect.”