Cannabis retailer, Copilot, has submitted a business application to set up a retail shop in Prince George Airport in British Columbia, Canada. If approved, the airport could soon become the first in the world with a licensed cannabis dispensary. Expect puns about “flying high,” “high in the sky,” and “eight miles high” to increase exponentially.
While the company awaits provincial approval and a commercial license, Gordon Duke, CEO of Prince George Airport, was impressed by their proposal.
“They had a strong business plan that met our expectations for new business partners, and we welcome the opportunity to work with Copilot to expand the services available to our passengers,” Duke said in an interview with Aviacionline.
Duke also pointed out that Copilot met the regulator requirements of Transport Canada and the province before a recent city council meeting. And according to a report by CKPG Today, members of the city council passed the first two readings of the application unanimously.
As part of the active phase of the licensing process, applications undergo a rigorous assessment to determine the applicant’s fitness to hold a non-medical cannabis retail store license.
The official assessment required to issue a license includes security screenings and financial integrity checks.
British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure still needs to provide its input, but the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch has to deem the applicant fit and proper.
Copilot’s mission is to make air travel “a less stressful, more pleasant experience” for those who suffer from anxiety or fear connected to plane travel.
Copilot co-founders Owen Ritz and Reed Horton view the airport as “the perfect place” to launch their first storefront.
“We felt the airport was large enough to have enough passenger traffic and enough flights to test out the different aspects of the business model, but small enough where we would develop a community feel, and it wouldn’t necessarily feel like our retail store was in a sea of other stores,” Ritz and Horton said in a statement.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the airport served approximately 500,000 passengers per year. Ritz and Horton expect to have four to eight people in their store and serve 100 customers daily. The store will have items available in tamper-evident containers.
Despite the overall positive response, some officials have concerns.
The store location would be located ahead of security screening, in a non-secure area open to the public, not just airport travelers.
Police authorities believe the airport location for the dispensary could negatively impact Canadian Air Transport Security Authority staff.
Complications around security screenings to ensure property packing and weights for domestic flights have not been addressed. And while Canadians of legal age traveling inside the country can bring up to 30 grams of weed in their carry-ons, travelers cannot take cannabis across national borders.
Numerous potential issues for connecting international flights at land borders where cannabis is not legal also have not been resolved. If people plan to travel with other substances such as CBD, it is best if they know the proper tips.
If Copilot receives approval, however, lighting up on-site will be restricted. Copilot is exploring the possibility of the airport designating a separate for smoking cannabis.