Like all weed, it started out as a plant. It was just budding away, waiting for the happy day it could be rolled into a joint or baked into a delicious chocolate brownie.
Like most cannabis, the hybrid strain of Thin Mint marijuana had high hopes of being inhaled, and not flushed down the toilet by a concerned mother. It was grown in Phoenix with the primarily positive intent of someday reducing anxiety or boosting Doritos sales.
But the folks over at Herban Planet, a Scottsdale-based educational website for both marijuana businesses and consumers, had bigger plans for this particular strain of pot. Before landing in the hands of what could be a toked-out, incense-burning hipster, this bud would make history as the first pound of marijuana flower to be thrust 35 kilometers above Earth into space.
The strain was aptly named “Space Weed Bro.”
The British company SentIntoSpace was charged with figuring out the logistics of getting the pound of Mary Jane high enough to break a record. The Space Weed Bro was carefully packed into an insulated container to protect it from the harsh negative 94-degree temperatures.
On September 28, the team attached the parcel to a weather balloon, hooking up a camera and a satellite system to track the groundbreaking mission.
Wearing a “high and mighty” T-shirt, Chris Rose, co-director of SentIntoSpace, counted down from five. The weed-carrying balloon was released, soaring into space like the Voyager 1.
There’s no official consensus about where Earth’s atmosphere ends and space begins, but Rose says the “commonly accepted gateway” is 19.2 kilometers above Earth. The Space Weed Bro team figured get high or go home — they reached 35 kilometers, or almost 22 miles above the home planet.
There are so many things Space Weed Bro could have done during the expedition. It could have gone to Mars as a treat for all those crazy, adventurous humans interested in a NASA-commissioned one-way ticket to the Red Planet. It could have been sent to the sun’s surface — perhaps the solar heat would have burned up the marijuana until the whole galaxy got high.
Alas, this was a business venture. Scottsdale-based dispensary Level Up will sell Space Weed Bro for the out-of-this-world price of $100 per gram starting Wednesday, according to Tagan Dering, a chief product officer for Herban Planet. This price includes a commemorative container and a USB with flight footage.
Yes, the marijuana had to return to our humble planet. This is where all the lightersare. After the three-hour tour of space, the ganja parachuted down and landed with a light thud in the Arizona desert, near Superior.
Dering says the team was over the moon when they finally retrieved their space weed after its fantastic journey.
“We had to chase it down and hike a little bit to get to it,” Dering said. “It was a fun day at work, that’s for sure. … Seeing it come together was like a symphony.”
Dering swears he wasn’t high when his brainstorming team thought of the promotional adventure, even though it sounds like an idea you’d come up while passing a bong and watching old Scooby Doo reruns. He was “sadly, very sober.”
No one else has sent an entire pound of pot this high into space as far as Dering knows, but in April, Viceland sent a spliff 32.4 kilometers above the Earth in honor of Weed Week. Dering says they didn’t know about the Viceland Project until the team was already in the process of sending their pound to infinity and beyond.
The lesson here? Reach for the stars, because if a pound of marijuana can achieve great heights, so can you.