Category: British Columbia

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British ColumbiaCanadaFrom Our WritersRecreationalRetailtourism

Canadian Airport Could Be World’s First With a Retail Cannabis Shop

terry roston

A Canadian airport has received a business application from cannabis company Copilot to open a retail shop, Aviaci Online reports. If approved, Prince George Airport which is located in British Columbia would be the only airport in the world with a licensed cannabis dispensary.

Copilot is a project that aims to make air travel a less stressful experience for those who suffer from anxiety or fear related to plane travel.

Gordon Duke, CEO of Prince George Airport, said the airport would be “pleased to welcome Copilot if they receive a commercial license and provincial approval.” He added that the city council considered the application during their Monday meeting and that Copilot met the regulator requirements of the province and Transport Canada prior to that meeting.

“Obtaining a business license is one of the last steps before they can open their doors in [the airport]. Their products and services are in accordance with all federal and provincial laws and the store will operate just like other cannabis retail stores in Prince George. Copilot approached us in 2020 with an application to apply for lease space at our airport. 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 to Aviaci Online

Copilot co-founders Reed Horton and Owen Ritz called the airport “the perfect place” to launch their first storefront and fulfill their mission “to make travel a less stressful and more pleasant experience” for their customers. They indicated they hope to open “in the coming year” pending regulatory approvals.

[Prince George Airport] is large enough to showcase our innovative retail concept,” they said in a statement to Aviaci Online, “but small enough to build a close relationship with our customers and the community.”

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the airport served about 500,000 passengers per year.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

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British ColumbiaCannabis Industry NewsCultivationFrom Our WritersLicensing

BC Pilot Program Helps Unlicensed Growers Get Cannabis Licenses

terry roston

In an effort to slow down unregulated market cannabis sales, officials in British Columbia, Canada have started helping unlicensed producers enter the legal market, the Canadian Press reports. The pilot program, which is based in the Central Kootenay region of B.C. and ended in July, helped illicit market growers interested in making the switch to legal sales with licensing, marketing plans, and security, the report says.

The province said in a press release the pilot program helped 53 unlicensed cultivators, but only 13 received licenses, while 62 jobs were created or moved from the illicit market.

Abra Brynne of the Kootenay Cannabis Economic Development Council said high insurance rates and other economic factors make it difficult to convince unlicensed cultivators to make the transition to the legal market. She said the pilot program saw successes but that there is “a heck of a long way for things to go.”

B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said in an interview with the Press that less restrictive regulations could help encourage more underground growers to join the legal industry, noting the short time adult-use cannabis has been legal in Canada.

“It’s still very much a work in progress three years in,” he said.

Farnworth added that he has heard many individuals are frustrated with the difficulties in getting cannabis to market and from retailers who are unhappy with security measures like frosted glass in their storefronts. Farnworth pointed to a program expected this spring, called Farm Gate, which would allow producers to have a retail store on their property and deliver directly to retail stores. He thinks this would help unlicensed operators who want to go legal and craft growers alike.

“We’re trying to work with the industry (and) identify some of the challenges we can deal with,” he said.

Todd Veri, president of the Kootenay Outdoor Producer Co-Op, however, believes the B.C. government has backed “the wrong horse,” pointing to the enormous amount of time and effort it has taken his group, and other legal applicants like him, to navigate the provincial and Health Canada regulations. Despite his criticism of the provincial government’s partnership with illicit cannabis producers, he does agree with Farnworth that allowing farms to sell directly to retailers would help craft growers, the report says.

Underground Dispensary
Author: Lukas Barfield

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