Passengers traveling through a small airport in Prince George, British Columbia, may soon be able to purchase cannabis to carry around.
Copilot, an American cannabis company, is proposing to build what it calls the world’s first cannabis store located inside an airport building in the northern city.
“over there [cannabis] “Shops in Canada and the United States are close to the airport, but there isn’t a single store that we know of that operates within the confines of an airport,” Copilot co-founder Owen Ritz told CBC News.
Prince George’s Airport Authority is participating in the project, which it calls “the Pioneer”.
“If you think about the past, there were no airport liquor stores and now there are liquor stores in airports across the country,” said Gordon Duke, CEO of Prince George’s Airport Authority. “So this is a development.”
“Yes, it’s new, and we may all have our personal opinions on the wisdom of legalizing cannabis,” Duke said. “It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a legal retail product with strong regulatory requirements.”
Ritz said his company’s goal is to make travel “less stressful and more enjoyable.”
If the proposal takes flight, the airport will build a cannabis consumption spot near the designated smoking area in the parking lot, Chrissy Perry, director of community relations for the airport authority, said.
Kopilot says he will not sell cannabis to airline crews or to airport staff on duty.
The proposed store is slated to be built near the airport security screening, in a space that currently offers massage chairs, desks and vending machines.
Within Canada, domestic travelers can legally carry 30 grams of cannabis, but it is illegal to transport the drug across international borders.
Airlines can also prevent passengers who appear drunk from boarding the plane.
In an email to Prince George’s City Council in January, Wade Erickson, an airline pilot with 30,000 flying hours, said intoxicated travelers could put cabin crew and passengers at risk.
Also, Erickson said that the proposed name for the Coplot store was “extremely offensive and insulting to the entire aviation profession … would not be different from naming the store ‘Cop Cannabis’ or ‘Mayor Munchies.'”
Kyle Sampson said the council’s job was to vote on the appropriate use of the land, but he also encouraged applicants to reconsider the proposed name.
“We’ve heard kind of unanimously from the airline industry that they were offended by this, and I think you may need to have some further consultation on that,” he said.
The company says that while this was the last major regulatory approval needed, Prince George and British Columbia Cathedral will still need to formally approve the project.
If approved, construction could begin in April.