Article by Ian Putzger, The Loadstar
Although eagerly anticipated in some quarters, the legalisation of cannabis for leisure purposes in Canada on October 17 turned out to be a less than soaring occasion, both in terms of consumption and aircraft payloads.
However, some growers have ambitious plans in which air cargo figures prominently – some operators are poised to be flying high, in fact.
Cargojet, Canada’s largest freighter operator, has been no stranger to flying cannabis across the country, as use of the plant for medical purposes was legalised in 2001.
Performing the linehaul on domestic trunk routes for all major express parcel operators, the Hamilton-based airline ended up with cannabis on its freighters “willy-nilly”, said Jamie Porteous, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer.
In the run-up to legalising private use for leisure, Cargojet performed several charters in the summer, moving seedlings to a new production facility in British Columbia.
Since October 17, the freighter airline has moved cannabis shipments around its network, notably from Montreal, Vancouver and Edmonton, Mr Porteous said. However, he has no clear picture how much cannabis is being shipped, as only a fraction of this traffic is declared as such.