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Australian Sky Turns Pink Due to a Marijuana Facility’s Blunder

By: Nina Gupta

On Wednesday evening in Mildura, a city in northwestern Victoria, Australia, the sky was glowing pink. Residents initially theorized that it was an alien invasion, but it turned out that the real reason was a medical marijuana facility on the edges of Mildura.

The pink glow came from the far-red light used to promote cannabis growth. This light spectrum, which appears extremely dim to human eyes, ranges from a wavelength of 700-850 nm. This light is vital for manipulation of marijuana growth. Because this section of the light spectrum appears dim, the plant assumes that it is overshadowed by a larger plant of some kind, causing a that increases the rate at it grows.

Normally, the company which owns the facility, Cann Group, uses blackout curtains to keep the LED light in. On Wednesday, the staff neglected to close the curtains, illuminating the night sky and attracting the attention of Mildura residents.

Tammy Szumowski, who witnessed this pink glow, said, “I was just being a cool, calm mum, telling the kids: 'There's nothing to worry about.' But in my head, I'm like, what the hell is that?” She mentioned that she speculated that the world was coming to an end. The chief executive of Cann Group announced that they had “resumed normal transmission” after the incident.

Cannabis production is quite new for Mildura. Anne Webster, who is a lawmaker representing the area on Australia’s Parliament, said, "It is providing jobs, and this is only the tip of the iceberg because it has quite a future for growth.”

In 2016, Australia legalized the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes. According to The Washington Post, “Today, some 70,000 Australians turn to medical marijuana for relief, bringing in estimated revenue of $160 million in 2021…Prescriptions have spiked in the past two years, which the study attributed partly to the “mental health burden” of Australia’s coronavirus containment restrictions.” The journal Frontiers of Pharmacology published an article which mentioned that the most prevalent reasons for marijuana prescriptions are for pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

The marijuana industry is beginning to boom in Mildura. The new facility is fully automated, andcan grow 70,000 kg of cannabis flowers. According to Regional Development Victoria, the construction of the facility has already provided 133 jobs, and there are also 16 full-time employees. The facility is expected to support 40 full-time jobs by December.

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