Cannabis tourism may be a giant leap for Australia, but it could be one small step away for space, according to former astronaut Chris Hadfield.

While the main purpose of space travel has traditionally been to further our understanding of the cosmos via scientific experimentation, the falling cost of launching travellers into orbit has brought the idea of a recreational ‘space-cation’ closer to the mainstream.

And Hadfield, who has flown two space shuttle missions, served on the international space station and recently joined the board of biotech company BioHarvest, told Futurism the rise in space tourists will result in a corresponding demand for cannabis.

“Once the population gets large enough, once you get to a stable enough situation, people are gonna want, you know, a drink,” he said. “People are gonna want some pot.”

However, he warned those working on the space station would not be able to indulge. 

“On the space station, if there’s an emergency, you are the fire department,” he said. “You can’t have intoxicated yourself or inebriated yourself or whatever, just because if something goes wrong, then you’ll die.”

While BioHarvest CEO Ilan Sobel pointed out cannabis is not yet regulated for the international space station, he said once it becomes federally legal in the US, the firm’s cannabinoid-growing process may present a breakthrough “from a biological science perspective” in a microgravity environment.

Space might even be the perfect environment to grown medical-grade cannabis.

“We see the potential ability for valuable minor cannabinoids to be grown at significantly higher quantities compared to [their] growth on earth,” Sobel added.

However, Hadfield insisted cannabinoids are just one of the things the company grows and warned recreational cannabis in space is still a “long ways out”.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...