HBS i-Lab opens new basement floor for weed start-ups

Howie Felt, Contributor

Following closely on the heels of the successful AR/VR Studio launch this past February, the HBS Innovation Labs announced the opening of a new subterranean floor dedicated solely to cannabis start-ups.

The so-called “HiGH Lab” initiative seeks to take advantage of recent changes to regulation. Massachusetts elected to legalize marijuana in November, joining several other states in a national movement to embrace the recreational drug.

“It just makes sense. The i-Lab is dedicated to incubating student ventures in the hottest industries, and what’s hotter than a freshly-lit fat blunt?” said Entrepreneur-in-Residence Dweezle McBride. “I’m personally most excited for innovation in the edibles market; I’m looking forward to ways of making painful student pitch meetings more bearable.”

The basement floor was identified as an ideal space because of the lack of windows and proper ventilation, creating perfect conditions for plant cultivation and user testing. The renovations were made possible by a few very generous alumni, who wished to remain anonymous.

A tour of the black-lit facility showed an ample supply of hydroponics equipment, an industrial-sized kitchen, and a fully-stocked innovation lab, complete with a diverse offering of consumption paraphernalia. One wall has been transformed into vacuum-sealed user testing booths.

i-Lab staff have emphasized the initiative’s commitment to student comfort. “We’re especially proud of the innovative open-floor plan, which forgoes traditional desks and chairs. Studies have shown that these are too structured and, quite frankly, bad for your health. Instead, students may collaborate while reclining on oversized bean bags while the sweet tunes of Bob Marley are played in the background.”

In keeping with the i-Lab’s mission of offering diverse programming, the HiGH Lab will also offer hackathons and expert panels. The first event of the speaker series is an intimate fireside chat with music artist and TV personality Snoop Dogg.

The admissions office also voiced their support for the initiative.

Said admissions deputy director Cynthia Raymond, “We’re not concerned about how this reflects on the HBS brand. In fact, this makes the sell against GSB so much easier now! It turns out the admissions ‘salad’ that Dee always talked about was just missing a touch of grass.”

Details are forthcoming on the high-Lab’s official launch event on April 20th.