Residents of the city of Mildura in the Australian state of Victoria were surprised to look up to a pink sky on Wednesday evening.
Speculation regarding the origin of the event ranged from an alien invasion to an odd aurora or even the end of the world. Whatever it was, resident Tammy Szumowski told The Guardian, “it was very bizarre.”
The true culprit was eventually exposed: a medical cannabis facility that had not yet closed its blinds.
“Cannabis plants require different spectrums of light in order to encourage their growth,” explained Rhys Cohen, senior communications manager at Cann Group Limited, which took responsibility for the flub.
“A red spectrum light is often used,” he continued, which speeds up the plant’s development and increases its growth cycle.
“Normally the facility would have blackout blinds that come down at night, and will in the future block that glow,” he added.
The site opened in early July but has kept its exact location secret. Medical marijuana remains highly regulated in Australia and recreational use of the drug is illegal.
Cann Group Limited was the first Australian company licensed to cultivate medical and research cannabis and harvested its first commercial crops in June. Its medical products were approved for sale in Australia in early July.