The Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA) announced on 7 January that Copilot, which is pioneering cannabis for travel, has applied for a business license to operate at Prince George Airport (YXS). The company must obtain a business license from the City of Prince George and, if granted, the company plans to open a cannabis retail store at the airport later this year, which will be the first cannabis retail store in an airport terminal worldwide.
Copilot has been working with federal and provincial regulators throughout the license application process and has met every required step to operate at YXS so far. Approval of a business license from the City is one of the final steps before they can build and open their store.
We are very pleased to welcome Copilot if they receive a business license and provincial approval. Their products and services conform to all federal and provincial laws and the store will operate the same as other cannabis retail stores in Prince George.Gordon Duke, PGAA CEO
PGAA CEO Gordon Duke said the airport is excited for the store to open and clarified that “Copilot has satisfied regulatory requirements from both Transport Canada and the Province of BC in advance of their meeting with the City Council. Obtaining a business license is one of the last steps before they can open for business at YXS. Their products and services conform to all federal and provincial laws and the store will operate the same as other cannabis retail stores in Prince George.”
Duke said that the store approached them in 2020 with a request lease space at the airport and their business plan met the airport’s expectations and intentions of expanding their service range: “They had a solid 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”.
We see YXS as the perfect location to launch our initial store and fulfil our mission of making travel a less stressful and more enjoyable experience for our customers.Reed Horton and Owen Ritz, Copilot Co-Founders
The founders of Copilot, Reed Horton and Owen Ritz, said they received “a very warm welcome” for their business proposal from Duke and his team. “If we are successful in receiving a business license from the City of Prince George, we believe this will be the first cannabis retail store to be in an airport terminal worldwide. YXS is large enough to introduce our innovative retail concept but small enough to build a close-knit relationship with our customers and the community. We are working with all relevant regulatory bodies to make sure we are satisfying every requirement of the licensing process and we look forward to becoming part of the community at YXS in the coming year”, they added.
The staff of the store will have to check customers’ boarding passes and will only be allowed to cannabis to people heading to domestic flights. Copilot will not sell any product to airport staff or passengers boarding international flights. However, some people have expressed concerns, even with these precautionary measures. According to High Times, Air Canada’s director of local and provincial government relations, Serge Corbeil, noted that “This could be highly problematic, [because] while rare, there are instances where a flight may be domestic, but be diverted into the United States”.
Despite these concerns, Copilot passed the Prince George City Council public hearing and announced they are “on track to launch the world’s first cannabis retail store in an airport this summer!”.