City council approved for first and second reading a rezoning application to establish a retail outlet run by Thrive Cannabis at the Prince George Airport (YXS) to sell cannabis. The application will now proceed to third reading and a public hearing to be held in front of council at a future date.
Operating under the name Copilot, the company plans to open a cannabis retail store at YXS later this year, which will be the first cannabis retail store in an airport terminal worldwide.
Copilot was founded by Owen Ritz and Reed Horton, college classmates and teammates at Dartmouth College.
“We have received a very warm welcome for our business proposal from Gord and his team,” said Horton. “We see YXS as the perfect location to launch our initial store and fulfill our mission of making travel a less stressful and more enjoyable experience for our customers. 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.”
The RCMP were not supportive of the application for the following reasons:
- Negative impacts to Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) staff at the security screening to ensure property packing, weights for domestic flights; and
- Potential issues for connecting international flights at land borders where cannabis is not legal and possible criminal charges for exporting cannabis.