Stocking up on booze and perfume at the airport may be part of the travel experience, but cannabis shoppers have been denied the opportunity to peruse their favourite products – until now.

Prince George City Council, in British Columbia, Canada, has voted in favour of an application from retail brand Copilot to open a cannabis store in its airport terminal.

Copilot co-founder Owen Ritz said the retailer plans to open the store by the beginning of the northern hemisphere summer, pending further government approvals and construction.

He told MJBizDaily: “We think that one potential segment are customers who are looking to purchase cannabis products and potentially consume them before traveling.” 

“It’s not necessarily because we view cannabis as a way to get intoxicated before traveling – it’s that cannabis is a product that people use to relieve stress and travel is a stressful experience, and it’s a practice that already exists.”

He said other potential customers include arriving travellers looking to pick up cannabis before heading to their final destination and curious shoppers who might not ordinarily visit a cannabis store.

“We really view being in an airport as an opportunity to do that, to introduce our brand, and cannabis retail in general, to any type of customer,” he added.

The Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA) announced plans for the cannabis store in January, which will be centrally located between the check-in hall and security.

Ritz said: “It will essentially be 10 meters from the door when you walk in to check in to your flight, or it will be about 50 meters from where people exiting the airport would be leaving.”

Copilot assured the council that the store wouldn’t sell to “airport or airline staff on shift, or identifiable as such”, or to travellers with international transits or final destinations.

While the airport is a non-smoking zone, it plans “a designated cannabis consumption area for the responsible consumption of cannabis products,” PGAA president and CEO Gordon Duke told the council at a hearing this week.

Domestic air travellers can legally bring cannabis on to flights in Canada. However, international travellers are prohibited from entering or leaving the country with the drug, meaning duty-free sales are still off-limits at the moment.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...