Small tech startup plans to grow cannabis on the International Space Station

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Cannabis is about to reach the final frontier, thanks to efforts from a small tech company.

Kentucky startup Space Tango has plans to cultivate particular strains of CBD-rich hemp in microgravity micro-laboratories already on board the International Space Station, reports TechCrunch.

According to co-founder and chairman Kris Kimel of Space Tango, the company plans to launch payloads to the space station for corporate and university customers about six times a year, under the intention of researching how microgravity can be used to better cultivate CBD strains for medical compounds.

“Each time a new type of physics platform has been successfully harnessed such as electromagnetism, it has led to the exponential growth of new knowledge, benefits to humankind and capital formation,” said Kimel in a statement. “Using microgravity, we envision a future where many of the next breakthroughs in healthcare, plant biology and technology may well occur off the planet Earth.”

The company designed a “clean room” laboratory the size of a microwave oven that can conduct experiments in microgravity without taking up much-needed space on the ISS.

Space Tango has also conducted similar experiments with beer company Anheuser-Busch to observe how zero gravity affects the growth of barley.

“Understanding how plants react in an environment where the traditional stress of gravity is removed can provide new insights into how adaptations come about and how researchers might take advantage of such changes for the discovery of new characteristics, traits, biomedical applications and efficacy,” said Dr. Joe Chappell, a member of the Space Tango Science Advisory Team, to TechCrunch.

Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by SFGate or the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors are solely responsible for the content.

Oscar Pascual

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