(KFYI News) – Arizona is laying claim to the first successful launch of "space weed".
Late last month, a Scottsdale company called Herban Planet – which works with the medical marijuana industry, including doctors and marijuana dispensaries – decided to launch a one-pound box of marijuana flower into space as a publicity stunt for the firm.
Herban Planet enlisted Sent Into Space, a British company that will launch almost anything into space using a high-altitude weather balloon.
The launch team gathered in Casa Grande for the launch. The balloon's payload included not just the marijuana, but also a GPS tracker, a camera, and other equipment.
The helium-filled balloon climbed rapidly through the atmosphere, eventually getting, um, very, very high. It got up to an altitude of slightly more than 131,000 feet above the earth, which translates to about 35 kilometers. The generally-accepted threshold of space is 19 kilometers.
The onboard camera clearly showed the curvature of the earth before the balloon burst, as designed, from the excessive interior pressure compared to the near-vacuum around it.
A parachute deployed, allowing the payload to float back to earth. It landed in the desert near Superior, AZ, about 75 miles from its launch point.
Here's a video of the journey: