Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Category: Hemp Sustainability

Highland Hemp House: Sharing The Beauty & Potential In Hemp Homes (VIDEO)

The Highland Hemp House is a unique hempcrete home in Bellingham, Washington. Older toxic building materials in this 1960s house are being replaced with healthy, sustainable, carbon-negative hemp.

The Highland Hemp House is a unique hempcrete home in Bellingham, Washington.

Originally built in 1969, owner Pamela Bosch wanted to replace older, toxic building materials with something healthy, sustainable, and eco-friendly. The answer was hempcrete, made from combining the hurd (woody core) of industrial hemp plants with lime and water. Bosch hired Hempitecture to oversee a total hempcrete retrofit.

Previously, Hempitecture created a hempcrete retreat center at 7,468’ in Idaho’s Lost River mountains. Idaho Basecamp uses the center for yoga classes and other events to help people feel in touch with nature.

HIGHLAND HEMP HOUSE: HEMPCRETE IS HEALTHIER & MORE SUSTAINABLE

Why choose hempcrete? Hempcrete is more breathable, making it healthier for occupants. Hempcrete is mold-resistant, pest-resistant, and fire-resistant. It’s carbon-negative, since it’s absorbs CO2 from occupants over time. Hempcrete is an energy efficient insulator, completely non-toxic and even has great acoustics.

The Highland Hemp House in Bellingham, Washington is a unique hempcrete retrofit. This 1960s home is being completely remodeled with hemp, becoming healthier, more sustainable, and carbon-negative along the way.

The Highland Hemp House in Bellingham, Washington is a unique hempcrete retrofit. This 1960s home is being completely remodeled with hemp, becoming healthier, more sustainable, and carbon-negative along the way. (Courtesy: Highland Hemp House)

Best of all, Hempcrete is so easy to work with anyone can learn. To create hempcrete walls, builders first mix, then spread the hempcrete into forms. After it dries, the forms are removed, and the walls will naturally grow even more durable over time. Highland Hemp House is frequently open for workshops, tours, and hands-on building. So far, they’ve put in over 1150 hours of labor and poured over 587 batches of hempcrete.

As work continues, Pamela Bosch hopes Highland Hemp House will be “a physical testament to the beauty and potential in hemp building.”

Thanks to TAAP Media for video production assistance.

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Hemp Biofuel Could Ease Our Dependence On Fossil Fuels

After legalization, hemp biofuel could be a key part of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Researchers have made hemp into two types of biofuel: biodiesel and ethanol.

After legalization, hemp biofuel could be a key part of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Fuel is everything. America would not be the hyper-efficient economy it is today without something to power our cars, computers, and our Roomba vacuum cleaners. We would be nothing but Neolithic farmers without our electricity and gasoline. But, anything that is truly valuable always comes at a price. Traditional fuel sources hurt the environment, and they’re running out. Air pollution from processing fossil fuels harms the troposphere, and indirectly depletes ozone from our atmosphere. The price for hyper efficiency is evident, which is why alternative fuel sources are becoming so important. Today we focus on a fuel source that hits close to home. That alternative is hemp biofuel.

A biodisel fuel pump at a filling station. Biodiesel is one very appealing option for hemp biofuel.

A biodisel fuel pump at a filling station. Biodiesel is one very appealing option for hemp biofuel.

The cannabis plant is the gift that keeps on givin’. This magic plant gives us CBD oil, THC, hemp fibers and even fuel! Researchers have made hemp into two types of biofuel: biodiesel and ethanol.

HEMP BIODISEL

Biodiesel is produced by the pressing of hemp seeds to extract their oils & fats. After the extraction, the product is then put through more steps to make it into a usable hemp biofuel for your car. If you’re curious to learn about the specifics of biodiesel production, the process is thoroughly explained by hemp.com.

The argument for hemp-derived biodiesel comes down to convenience. If processed correctly, biodiesel can be put into any diesel-powered automobiles. It can be stored and transported like diesel, so there isn’t a need to create a new system for transportation. It even replaces the smell of traditional diesel with the smell of hemp.

USING HEMP TO MAKE ETHANOL

Ethanol is traditionally made from wheat-based crops such as corn and barley. It’s traditionally used as an additive to gasoline, which gave way to our “flex-fuel” vehicles of today. Hemp can be made into ethanol by various forms of fermentation. Using hemp as the main source of ethanol, instead of food crops like wheat & corn has clear advantages. Not using food crops as a fuel source allows more efficiency in food production, and hemp can be grown in lower quality conditions unlike corn or wheat. Hemp-derived ethanol also shares the advantages of transportation and usability as biodiesel.

A row of yellow and green fuel pumps. Hemp biofuel could present more sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels in the near future.

A row of yellow and green fuel pumps. Hemp biofuel could present more sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels in the near future.

HEMP BIOFUEL OFFERS A MORE SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE

Fuel alternatives like this can seem like a no-brainer to replace our traditional fossil-fuel sources, but there are drawbacks to these alternative techniques.

To set up a large-scale industrial hemp farm, you will experience the same ethical dilemmas that the farming industry faces. Deforestation and pesticide use will increase, and we’ll inevitably replace some of our food-crop land with more hemp-crop land. Farmers can grow hemp biofuel on land that is not fit for other crops. This “marginal land” is essentially land that isn’t tilled and cleared out for farming. Despite the versatility, hemp produces a much bigger harvest in ideal farming settings. Additionally, marginal land is actually home to important plants, trees, and living creatures that are vital to the ecosystem. Read “Is Hemp The Best Biofuel?” from sensiseeds.comfor a more in-depth look into the argument for hemp biofuel.

Clearly, hemp biofuel alone won’t solve our environmental crisis, but we believe it could be part of a transition to a cleaner way of living.

HOW THE AUTO-INDUSTRY ALREADY USES HEMP

While hemp biofuel may not be a popular ralternative just yet, the automotive industry already uses hemp. Automakers weave hemp plastic into a bendable material similar to fiberglass. Almost all European car makers use hemp fibers as interior door panels and trim pieces. And companies like FlexForm technologies operate as a dedicated producer of hemp-fiberglass that they sell to automotive companies to be made into car doors and exterior panels. Cars that feature hemp-based materials include the BMW i8 supercar and the Lotus Evora. The advantages that come with hemp-made materials is that they are lighter, bio-degradable, and comes from a much easier renewable resource. Hemp grows in roughly 3 months while metals take thousands of years to form.

Thanks to continued bipartisan support for hemp legalization paired with a culture that is growing increasingly accepting of the cannabis plant, we’re witnessing the beginning of  hemp revolution. While hemp biofuel can’t solve the entire energy crisis (we believe the answer to that problem will require multiple solutions), it can provide us with a great renewable fuel source in addition to it’s already useful applications.

While we spent our time here discussing hemp biofuel, let’s not forget the other ways people have been using hemp. There’s hemp beer, hemp blankets, and, this reporter’s personal favorite, hemp food! The future is indeed green.

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Hemp Packaging Offers Sustainable Alternatives To Paper & Plastic (VIDEO)

Every industry is struggling with the growing problem of waste. Both medical and recreational dispensaries depend on plastic and foil containers which are used once, then thrown away. We met with two pioneering companies creating sustainable hemp-based alternatives.

Hemp packaging could be a solution to the problem of disposable, single-use paper and plastic.

“The statistics are in: every second … a half acre of trees are cut down,” said Matthew Glyer of Hemp.Press. “7.5 bllion trees for paper alone is not sustainable.”

Every industry is struggling with the growing problem of waste. The legal cannabis industry is no exception. Both medical and recreational dispensaries depend on plastic and foil containers which are used once, then thrown away. For the most part, these materials are not biodegradable. Single-use paper packaging is also commonplace in the industry.

While hemp plastic is still being perfected, companies like Sana Packaging are already creating composites from hemp and corn. Sana Packaging’s products are created using hemp hurd, the fibrous woody core of agricultural hemp, then combined with corn to create composite bioplastic.

Hemp packaging can be part of reducing dependence on single-use, unsustainable packaging.

A Sana Packaging tube designed for use in the legal cannabis industry. This “doob tube” is made from a combination of hemp and corn. Hemp packaging can be part of reducing dependence on single-use, unsustainable packaging.

Working with domestically-sourced materials also ensures the sustainability of their products.

“Our hemp is sourced here domestically in Kentucky, processed in North Dakota and we manufacture in Minnesota and Arizona,” said Ron Basak-Smith of Sana Packaging. “All American made, all American supply chain.”

Hemp.Press also targets the cannabis industry with products that replace boxes or display cards made from trees with hemp paper.

The companies are also involved in lobbying to change cannabis laws. Currently, most states with legal medical or recreational marijuana programs prohibit the re-use of packaging at cannabis dispensaries. If those laws changed, consumers would be able to bring their hemp packaging back to the dispensary to be refilled with fresh flower, extract, or pre-rolled cannabis joints.

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Here’s Why Hempcrete Is The Greatest Innovation in Healthy Homes

Growing interest in a lesser known building material could create healthy homes all over America. It’s called hempcrete and it’s durable, sustainable and carbon negative.

Growing interest in a lesser known building material could create healthy homes all over America.

It’s called hempcrete. This combination of chopped hemp shiv and lime binder is durable, sustainable and carbon negative. Lime is an abundant quarried material and hemp is a renewable biomaterial — both safeguarding the sustainable future of hempcrete and our planet.

HOW DOES HEMPCRETE PROMOTE HEALTHY HOMES?

Hempcrete is a breathable matter, absorbing moisture from the air when humidity is high and releasing it again when humidity levels drop. This ensures that water vapour can pass in and out of the wall rather than becoming trapped and causing damp problems.

healthy homes can be made from hempcrete like this experimental building in Singapore

The wall of a hempcrete building in Singapore. Hempcrete buildings are healthy homes because this unique building material is pest and mold resistant and vapor permeable. (Flickr / Jnzl’s Photos, CC-BY license)

When cooking or in bedrooms at night from the occupants breathing, there is often excess moisture in the air. Hempcrete absorbs this moisture into the walls to be released later, discouraging damp. This in turn combats the formation of fungi and mold spores which are damaging to human health.

The regulation of humidity has been shown to inhibit the spread of viral and bacterial infections, allergic reactions and respiratory conditions. This ability to regulate air quality reduces the need for powered air filters and ventilation systems, allowing for truly healthy homes.

WHAT ABOUT HEMPCRETE AND PEST CONTROL?

Hemp is naturally fire-retardant and pest-resistant. Because of these properties, there is no need to add the chemicals which are usually added to building materials, including formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and VOCs have been implicated in both asthma and allergies. The omission of these chemicals obviously contributes to the health of the occupants of the house.

hempcrete shreds

A pair of hands holding dried, shredded hemp shivs, which look a bit like wood chips. They are ready to be mixed with lime and water and formed into blocks.

Hempcrete can be used to build new healthy homes or add an extension to your existing home, perhaps a “granny annexe” allowing elderly parents to move in with their children in a healthy environment or a “relaxation room” for family members to unwind and breathe deeply.

HEALTHY HOMES AND HEMPCRETE: WILL THE BENEFITS WEAR OUT?

Hempcrete is an incredible material which has negative carbon emissions. This means that it absorbs more carbon dioxide than is produced by building it.

Even in this form, when hempcrete has consumed more carbon dioxide than it has left in the atmosphere, it remains breathable, so homes continue to be rainproof but remainpermeable to gas and moisture in the environment. Hempcrete homes will stay healthy for life.

What with the growth of green building, interest in healthy homes and and widespread need for sustainable building materials, hempcrete is set to be the home building material of the future.

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Hempcrete Doghouse Proves Hemp Is a Versatile, Sustainable Building Material

“It’s mold resistant, it’s pest resistant, it’s fire resistant.” Leigh Humphries, from Wilmington, North Carolina, is passionate about hempcrete, the sustainable building material she used to build a unique doghouse….

doghouse built from hempcrete

“It’s mold resistant, it’s pest resistant, it’s fire resistant.”

Leigh Humphries, from Wilmington, North Carolina, is passionate about hempcrete, the sustainable building material she used to build a unique doghouse.

Humphries recently graduated with a degree in Sustainability Technologies from Cape Fear Community College, and the doghouse was her “capstone” project in the vocational program.

While you won’t yet find hempcrete doghouses shading Fido from the sun in many back yards, it’s a building material with proven benefits and a growing appeal. Hempcrete homes are popping up from Kentucky to Alaska and beyond.

When we heard about Humphries exciting project through coverage on Wilmington’s WWAY news, we reached out directly to find out more about why she chose hempcrete, what it took to build the doghouse, and how her project was received in her community.

‘A Really Healthy Building’: The Many Benefits Of Hempcrete

Hempcrete only uses 3 ingredients

Cape Fear’s Sustainability Technologies Program has a dual focus on green energy and sustainable building. Humphries told us that while she enjoyed learning about renewable energy technologies, “I kind of immersed myself in the construction and building science part of it.”

She first heard about hempcrete in her Green Building class, which offered a broad overview of various sustainable building options. Captivated by hempcrete’s potential, she immediately began researching ways she could use it in her final project.

“I started collecting some research and talking to people,” Humphries recalled. “Finally it came time for my capstone class and I went for it. I got the approval of my academic advisor and went with the doghouse idea.”

One of the most appealing features of hempcrete for her was its vapor permeability, which allows structures to “breathe.” This helps make hempcrete extremely resistant to mold and other health hazards.

Hempcrete also has no volatile organic compounds, toxic chemicals found in many other, more common building materials.

“It’s a really healthy building to live in,” she observed.

It’s also highly reflective and insulating; some estimates suggest hempcrete could cut heating costs by 50 to 70 percent.

Here’s how Humphries summed up hempcrete’s benefits in our interview:

“It’s healthy for the occupants, but it’s also really easy, once you get the process down, to build with. It’s a quick process. It’s a really cool material. It’s environmentally friendly obviously and it has really great health perks as well compared to conventional manufactured building materials.”

Hemp Shivs, Lime & Water: Hempcrete Is Simple, But Prices Remain High

 

“Hempcrete is made from hemp shivs, a lime-based binder and water,” Humphries explained.

Hemp shivs, the chopped up fibrous core of the hemp plant, are the key ingredient in hempcrete. “The biggest problem I had was acquiring the hemp shivs. They’re really expensive.”

Hemp growing is only just returning to North Carolina, so the shivs for Humphries doghouse had to be imported from Virginia. American Hemp, LLC, a firm in nearby Winston Salem, helped Humphries obtain the materials and Patrique Veille, the company’s Strategic and Project Management Consultant, acted as an informal advisor to the doghouse project.

A commercially available lime binder is used in professional hempcrete structures, but budget constraints on the doghouse forced Humphries to mix her own.

“The most challenging part of the project was making my own lime binder,” Humphries explained. “I did that with a specific ratio of hydraulic lime, sand, a little bit of Portland cement and water.”

She stressed that this homemade option was only viable because the doghouse isn’t intended for human habitation.

It took some experimentation to get it just right. “A few test bricks later I found the correct ratio and it worked out perfectly.”

Using wood that could be recycled later, Humphries built a form for the doghouse, then poured the hempcrete inside. After allowing the doghouse to dry overnight, she carefully removed the form and allowed the structure to finish setting. In all, she estimates the project took about 3 and half months, including about 2 weeks for the doghouse to fully dry.

‘People Seem Genuinely Excited’: Hempcrete’s Promising Future In North Carolina

Hemp still sometimes has an uncertain reputation, thanks to its association with psychoactive cannabis and decades of hemp prohibition under the war on drugs. Happily, Humphries said she received “zero resistance” to her doghouse project.

“Everyone was really supportive and excited,” she told us.

She took the hempcrete doghouse to Wilmington’s Earth Day Festival in April, where it received an enthusiastic response. “I had quite the audience the 4 hours I had it at the Earth Day festival. It was really neat.”

Among her numerous fans at the event were Hemp Farmacy, a Wilmington CBD oil vendor, and local builders who were excited to see hempcrete in action.

“Some real estate brokers that I spoke with are also really interested and one in particular is working on getting the local Habitat for Humanity, once it becomes more affordable, to build the first hempcrete home,” Humphries added.

She believes prices for hempcrete will come down, thanks to hemp’s growing popularity throughout what was once tobacco country. “The closest seeds being planted near us are in Wallace, about an hour northwest of Wilmington. It’s really exciting.”

Humphries was hired straight out of school by Above and Beyond Energy, a energy efficiency consulting firm, but she hopes to return to sustainable building in the future.

“I would love to. I haven’t really made a plan for that yet, but all of the positive response is really inspiring and I’d like to see where I can go with hempcrete.”

 

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Hemp Makes Great Plastic, So Why Isn’t Hemp Plastic Everywhere?

Plastic is an inescapable part of our everyday lives, so why is almost all of it still made from polluting, non-renewable petrochemicals? You may have heard that agricultural hemp, the…

Plastic is an inescapable part of our everyday lives, so why is almost all of it still made from polluting, non-renewable petrochemicals?

You may have heard that agricultural hemp, the non-mind-altering cousin of cannabis (commonly known as marijuana), has dozens of potential uses from clothing to paper.

Since virtually all climate scientists agree that we must replace our dependence on fossil fuels, and given that hemp can even make the soil cleaner, it’s surprising that this miracle crop isn’t in wider use.

When we looked into the topic, we found that hemp is already appearing in some commonplace objects, including cars, and could soon find it’s way into more. But there are also remaining barriers that keep hemp plastics more expensive and less versatile, for now.

Alternatives Needed As Plastic Pollutes Water & Land

plastic pollution

Researchers found 38 million pieces of plastic waste on one uninhabited island in the South Pacific. That’s just one island.

Not only are the harmful effects of global warming increasingly clear, conventional plastics linger in the environment and can even enter the food chain to detrimental effect on human and animal health.

In one especially shocking recent example, researchers from the University of Tasmania and the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds found 38 million pieces of plastic waste on Henderson Island, an uninhabited coral island in the South Pacific.

“I’ve travelled to some of the most far-flung islands in the world and regardless of where I’ve gone, in what year, and in what area of the ocean, the story is generally the same: the beaches are littered with evidence of human activity,” Jennifer Lavers, a marine scientist from the University of Tasmania, told The Guardian.

The oceans are in a similar or even worse state, thanks to the risk of microplastics, or tiny fragments of plastic that pollute the waters and are often eaten by marine life. The infamous “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is actually largely composed of millions of these tiny particles — as much as 1.9 million per square mile — according to a 2014 report from National Geographic.

Hemp Cellulose Fibers A Good Source For Many Plastics

Some of the earliest plastics were made from cellulose fibers obtained from organic, non-petroleum-based sources.

“Hemp cellulose can be extracted and used to make cellophane, rayon, celluloid and a range of related plastics,” reported Seshata, a writer at Sensi Seeds in 2014. “Hemp is known to contain around 65-70% cellulose, and is considered a good source (wood contains around 40%, flax 65-75%, and cotton up to 90%) that has particular promise due to its relative sustainability and low environmental impact.”

While 100% hemp-based plastic is still a rarity, some “composite bioplastics” — plastics made from a combination of hemp and other plant sources — are already in use. Thanks to their high strength and rigidity, these plastics are currently used in the construction of cars, boats, and even musical instruments.

could hemp be used for plastic bottles

Bioplastic Is Promising, But Can’t Solve All Our Pollution Problems

Many plastic products are made from polymer resins, including polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, found in everyday products like plastic bottles. While advocates hope to someday see 100% hemp-based plastic bottles on supermarket shelves, the technology just isn’t ready for prime time.

Companies like Coca-Cola have experimented with 100% plant-based bottles, but commercially available products are made from no more than 30% plant-based materials, while the remainder is made from traditional fossil fuel sources.

The good news is that many corporations are investing heavily in researching replacements to traditional PET. It’s likely the first company to produce a viable commercial product could stand to earn millions.

Unfortunately, even plastic that’s deliberately designed to be biodegradable can still be a source of pollution. Almost nothing biodegrades in a landfill, and hemp microplastics could still cause problems when introduced to the oceans. Biodegradable plastics need to be sent to commercial composting facilities for efficient disposal, and these facilities aren’t available to everyone. In addition to creating better alternatives to plastic, we’ll still to create more responsible attitudes toward disposable products.

Cost And The War On Drugs Are Biggest Barrier To Hemp Plastic

While fossil fuel costs are kept low with subsidies, hemp products for the most part remain costly luxury items. While some hemp is grown in the United States under pilot programs legalized by the 2014 Farm Bill, most is still imported from other countries.

Though hemp requires fewer pesticides and has a smaller environmental footprint than many other crops, growing and harvesting it remains labor intensive. Another drawback is that hemp requires “significant fertiliser in some soils, and also has relatively high water requirements,” as noted by Seshata.

However, hemp prices would almost undoubtedly come down, and technology improve, if we ended the war on drugs — particularly the many restrictions on legally growing hemp and cannabis.

could hemp plastic be used for legos
One of the most provocative examples of hemp’s potential plastic future could come from LEGOs, the ubiquitous building block toy. which is promising to phase out fossil-fuel based resin by 2030.

“Hemp might just be the cost effective, environmentally sustainable alternative material that LEGO is looking for,” speculated Emily Gray Brosious in a February 2016 investigation from the Sun Times.

Whether or not we’re ever able to build a spaceship from hemp bricks, the full promise of hemp plastic remains tantalizingly close, but just out of reach.

 

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How Hemp Can Heal Our Soil & Why It Matters To Consumers

Add this to the many uses for our favorite plant: Industrial hemp can actually remove toxins from the soil. Not only can you use hemp to make dozens of sustainable…

hemp soil remediation

Add this to the many uses for our favorite plant: Industrial hemp can actually remove toxins from the soil.

Not only can you use hemp to make dozens of sustainable products, from clothing, skateboards to medicine, but it can also help heal the earth.

As the human population grows, so do our need for more land to grow the crops that keep us fed. But our dependence on fossil fuels and dirty industrial processes have left a lot of land too toxic to sustain life. That’s where the rapidly growing field of “bioremediation” can be vital. Bioremediation essentially means using living things to heal the soil, allowing us to clean and reclaim some of these polluted lands. While bacteria and other microorganisms can be used, phytoremediation, from the Greek word for plant, relies on crops like hemp.

Below, we’ll take a look at the reasons why hemp is such a promising plant for bioremediation. At the same time, we’ll also touch on the risks posed by heavy metals and toxins, which can inadvertently end up in hemp-based consumer products.

Hemp Soil Remediation VS The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

One of the most dramatic demonstrations of industrial hemp‘s potential was in Chernobyl, in the aftermath of the historic 1986 nuclear disaster which spewed radioactive waste across Eastern Europe. Over 100,000 square kilometers of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus were inundated with radiation, rendering much of them unusable.

In the late 90s, a company called Phytotech began experimenting with industrial hemp in some polluted Ukrainian regions. The results were extremely promising.

“Phytoremediation can be used to remove radioactive elements from soil and water at former weapons producing facilities,” explained Elaine Charkowski for Central Oregon Green Pages in winter of 1998. “It can also be used to clean up metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and toxins leaching from landfills.”

“Hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants we have been able to find,” Slavik Dushenkov, a research scientist with Phytotech, told Charkowski.

Harvested Hemp Could Be Used As Biofuel

While hemp that’s been planted near Chernobyl obviously can’t be made into food or medicine, it can still be safely distilled into ethanol for use as a biofuel.

Belarus also conducted successful experiments in growing hemp on contaminated soil for later use as fuel. “By using hemp to create biofuels (namely ethanol), scientists believe they can take advantage of the large amounts of contaminants hemp removes from soil as a byproduct of growing, trapping them in the plants, which are then removed entirely once the crop cycle completes,” reported CannaZine Hemp News in July 2009.

“The Government of Belarus has declared ethanol a priority topic for energy development. So we are very happy today to see the first steps being taken, in what we are sure will be a successful and large-scale development of ethanol production,” declared Sergei Martynov, former foreign minister of Belarus.

Beyond Radiation: From Cadmium to Oil Spills

In a paper published in September 2012 in Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, a team of five researchers in China reported on their successful experiments with hemp to absorb cadmium from the soil. Left untreated, cadmium in soil can enter the food chain, and consumption can cause severe joint and spinal pain. Too much exposure is known to even affect the kidneys and link to cancer.

The scientists experimented with 18 different varieties of hemp that are native to China. They identified 7 varieties which exhibited the highest concentrations of Cadmium (Cd) when grown in polluted soil.

“These cultivars, therefore, are good candidates for the implementation of the new strategy of cultivating biodiesel crops for phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soils,” they wrote.

 

hemp cleans up oil spill

Phytoremediation could also provide an alternative to harmful chemicals like Corexit, which are currently used to clean up oil spills. In 1999, the U.S. Navy experimented with using kenaf, a member of the hibiscus family which produces a fiber that’s similar to jute. The Navy found that kenaf could successfully absorb oil spills, thanks to its absorbent, fibrous core.

“A uniquely similar core fiber is also found in hemp,” wrote “Johnny Green,” a hemp activist, in a September 2016 report from Green Flower, a site dedicated to cannabis and hemp education.

Unfortunately, the use of hemp for bioremediation is limited by the war on drugs in the U.S., which drives up the price of hemp and limits who can grow hemp or conduct research.

“It is more expensive to produce the hemp than the chemical agents,” Green wrote. “Essentially, it would take a tremendous amount of core fibers from hemp to be able to clean up some of these larger oil spills.”

Toxins Absorbed By Hemp Can Also End Up In Consumer Products

Hemp’s potential for environmental cleanup also poses a risk to consumers when everyday agricultural hemp is grown under less than exacting conditions.

Even though some CBD extracts and other hemp products are now produced in the United States, thanks in large part to the 2014 Farm Bill, the vast majority are still imported from overseas.

As we reported in our post, Be Careful When You Buy Your Next CBD Oil last year,

The main problem for end consumers is the lack of transparency when it comes to the CBD’s origin. There are basically no data behind the volume and quality control behind these CBD oil imports.

The main reason why hemp’s cultivation environment is so important is because of hemp’s properties of absorbing contaminants from the soil while it grows. So if the soil it was grown on is not good, clean soil, then that plant might contain high levels of lead or mercury.

The risks aren’t limited just to hemp products either. An investigation by NBC Los Angeles in February 2017 found potentially dangerous levels of pesticides in multiple products sold in medical cannabis dispensaries, forcing state officials to pull the products from the shelves. A 2015 investigation by Smithsonian found legal cannabis was often laced with fungus or heavy metals. While most states are implementing more stringent safety precautions as a result of these risks, it’s another sign that source and quality matter when it comes to both cannabis and hemp.

Hemp Provides Hope For Reclaiming The Earth From Pollution

hemp can heal the soil

For centuries, Taranto, in the Puglia region of Italy, was known for its fine traditional cheese, drawing tourists from around the world. But by 2008, a nearby steel mill had rendered the cheese unfit for human consumption, forcing the government to cull farmers’ animals.

Once a thriving agricultural center, the Ilva steel plant, the largest in Europe, turned “Taranto into a grimy industrial city,” reported Sara Manisera in July 2016 for Slate. All the local livestock were “contaminated with a dangerous cocktail of nickel, lead” from eating grass grown in toxic soil. Residents suffer from a high frequency of cancer and kidney diseases.

Now farmers are turning to hemp to reclaim their soil. In just five years, Taranto’s experiment with hemp grew to almost 100 farmers, who have collectively planted about 300 hectares of hemp. While the farmers can only sell the fibers now, since the edible parts could be toxic, each crop makes the soil a little cleaner.

Vincenzo Fornaro, who owned what had been one of the most popular dairy farms, told Manisera that hemp had brought him a new outlook:

“We have to start giving back what we took from the environment and provide an alternative employment to our children. For now we use hemp only for industrial processing. I hope in the future we can use it also for nourishment. But what is certain is that we will surround the Ilva plant with hemp.”

As more and more people realize hemp’s promise, and fewer laws restrict its use, we believe millions more people will experience that same sense of hope, too.

 

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Hemp Bedding offers Animals a Cleaner & Healthier Home

As a horse owner, one of the most tedious jobs is cleaning out the stable. In a matter of hours, the stable can reek from the straw bedding that’s used…

As a horse owner, one of the most tedious jobs is cleaning out the stable. In a matter of hours, the stable can reek from the straw bedding that’s used as the horses’ home (and bathroom). For the owners and their animals, this is not just a matter of “bad smell”. If the cleaning isn’t done diligently, these odors and the resulting dust could expose them to ammonia and other respiratory issues.

If you’ve ever owned a pet hamster, you can relate to this as well. You set up the hamster’s home by laying down woodchips or straws, only to find out how quickly it turns nasty. It was probably one of the more annoying parts of owning and taking care of one.

Animal bedding is needed for a wide range of animals, ranging from horses, chickens, to even snakes. Traditionally, pine and straw have been the popular materials used for these beddings. But a startup is now offering a superior alternative.

Old Dominion Hemp, an animal bedding startup based out of Virginia, is looking to improve the quality of bedding materials by using hemp. Simply put, hemp offers a much more absorbent, longer lasting, and more sustainable bedding than straw or pine.

Old Dominion Hemp Logo

Hi Marty. Excited to learn more about Old Dominion Hemp! Could you tell us a bit about the company? What do you guys do and where are you based out of?

Marty Phipps: Old Dominion Hemp specializes in hemp bedding for equine (horse) and small animals. We started the company with the goal to show the public, specifically farmers, that industrial hemp has many agricultural uses. Our company was founded in Charlottesville, Virginia, where we’re located less than 5 miles from the home of Thomas Jefferson – who we like to call the Founding Father of Hemp.

We now serve customers nationwide. Recently, we’ve gotten a lot of interest from states such as Minnesota, Indiana, Colorado, and we’re even looking to send a package over to Alaska.

Specifically, what animals require this type of bedding?

MP: We currently serve animals such as horses, chickens, lambs, ducks, peacocks, mice, cats, snakes. Any animal that requires bedding will benefit from this material.

Using hemp as animal bedding is a novel application for many of us. Could you tell us a bit more of what advantages hemp brings as a bedding material?

MP: The benefits of hemp bedding are seemingly endless. Hemp is extremely absorbent as it can hold 4X its own weight, and lasts much longer than pine or straw bedding. Hemp bedding is very low dust, which is great for horses with respiratory issues. It also reduces odor better than straw or wood shavings. This is great for chicken owners, who often incur ammonia from the chicken scat. Hemp bedding is very economical for the farmers, as it lasts longer and reduces the products loss to waste. This, in turn, saves the consumer money. Lastly, hemp bedding is completely biodegradable, where as, pine can have a high acidity and “burn” fields, Hemp naturally decomposes into the earth. Our clients are actually mixing their hemp manure with seed and returning it to their fields.

Old Dominion Hemp Hurds

Hemp Hurds

What part of the hemp plant is used?

MP: We use hemp hurds for our bedding. Hemp hurds are the soft inner core of the hemp plant. It works great as bedding material as it is highly absorbent and rich in cellulose and has great thermal and acoustic properties.

And do you get your hemp supply from the US?

MP: We currently have to import our materials from Europe. However, with the movement that many states are making towards industrial hemp, we forecast using domestic supply by the end of 2018. Some states may even see 2017 as a possibility to use their domestic supply for hemp applications.

I hope that day comes soon! So how did you get started with ODH?

MP: We have been in business for about a year now. The drive behind starting Old Dominion Hemp was from losing our family land. That land had been in our family for over 100 years. The land could have been saved, maybe if we had another agricultural crop, such as hemp. We could have offset of the economic pressures coming from major entities that drive down the prices of other cash crops to the floor. These circumstances are destroying the inner fabric of our nation – the rural farmers.

Could you tell us how you got involved with hemp in the beginning?

MP: I’d say there’s a few reasons. First, I became a hemp activist through the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition. That was where I was introduced to the movement by Jason Amatucci about 3–4 years ago. I was able to meet the leaders of the hemp industry and got to learn a lot about hemp. Eventually, I purchased our first pallet of hemp bedding, which we used to conduct a 7 month Research & Development and Proof of Concept testing by donating our hemp bedding to places such as The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Virginia Piedmont Search and Rescue Mounted division, and other local horse and chicken farmers.

Old Dominion Hemp Bedding

 
Personally, I became a believer in hemp when I started giving hemp-derived CBD oil to alleviate pain and joint stiffness for my dog, Sadie. She had bone cancer in her leg and was told that she would only have weeks to live. My belief is that the CBD helped her, as she lived another full year, and she finally lost the battle to cancer in January.

How have your customers taken to using the hemp bedding material?

“Bedding longevity, cleanliness and earth friendly qualities are things the consumers are looking for and hemp bedding offers that solution”

MP: The response has been unbelievable and we were blown away by the immediate responses. Bedding longevity, cleanliness and earth friendly qualities are things the consumers are looking for and hemp bedding offers that solution. This helped us even sponsor a show horse called Wisteria at the Dressage at Lexington event.

What have been some of the bigger challenges during the past year?

MP: Pricing has been the biggest issue. The up-front cost is more, however the longevity and labor reducing qualities of the product make it competitive against pine or straw. The longevity of this product is far greater than anything on the market. As more customers experience the benefits of this crop, we foresee that more owners will make the switch.

Basically, we are working with customers across the whole spectrum. We go to events that cater to all the different types of demographics, from local chicken swaps to high end horse shows. Ultimately, we want to make this an affordable product for anyone that has animal that needs bedding.

When you look 5-10 years down the road, what is your vision for Old Dominion Hemp?

MP: Our vision is to provide the consumer with high quality hemp products with a focus in agricultural needs, such as, hemp animal bedding. We want to show farmers, if they grow hemp, there is a market to sell hemp. Ultimately, we want United States farmers to be allowed to grow hemp, period.

We are hoping that as the applications of this crop grows, it will allow farmers to cultivate this crop. Old Dominion Hemp is here to bring the best bedding possible to the market and to let farmers know that there is an end game to the monotony in farming. It is coming in the form of industrial hemp.

What Old Dominion Hemp Offers

Thanks for sharing your story with our readers Marty! How could our readers help with your mission?

MP: The number 1 priority for hemp is for the plant to be taken off the Schedule 1 Controlled Substances Act. This will be done when the Industrial Hemp Farming Act is passed, which is still sadly stuck in congress. I would encourage everyone to call or write to your local representatives and senators. After reading about businesses like ours, tell them about the useful applications that hemp has that could benefit our economy and environment.
 

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Building hemp homes in Alaska could save millions in heating cost

***A few months back, we had shared the story of John Patterson, who is paving the way of building environmentally-friendly hemp homes from Colorado. Today, we got the opportunity to…

***A few months back, we had shared the story of John Patterson, who is paving the way of building environmentally-friendly hemp homes from Colorado. Today, we got the opportunity to chat with another pioneer in the hemp building industry, Jack Bennett. Through NUNAworks, Jack is developing hemp homes in Alaska.***

An average household in Alaska spends more than $500 per month in heating cost during the winter months.

Alaska during winter months

Fairbanks, Alaska’s temperature averages below 0°F during the winter months, with the record low hitting -66°F

With most houses still being heated with diesel, it costs $7-$10 per gallon to heat a home. Jack Bennett and his startup NUNAWorks is looking to fix this unsustainable and inefficient practice through hemp. For Jack, building homes out of hemp in Alaska offers more than just sustainability benefits. It has an immediate impact of helping the livelihoods of rural Alaskan residents.

Houses built out of hempcrete offers much higher insulation that traditional homes, which would help reduce the energy costs by 50–70% annually for families.

To understand NUNAWork’s mission and background, we started our discussion with how it all got started.

Let’s start from the beginning. What was your background before getting involved in hemp?

Jack Bennett: I was working with the non-profit Community Works West in the Bay Area helping to raise awareness about the impact violence and mass incarceration have on communities. We worked specifically on how these situations impact children and create the same cycle of violence. The Community Works program, Project WHAT!, was able to raise $2 million for funding to help support these kids.

That’s a pretty amazing initiative. So how did you get from the Bay Area up to Alaska?

JB: I’m originally from Fairbanks, Alaska. Military service brought my folks up here in the early 70s. I grew up in a Korean Noodle Restaurant in Fairbanks. I then left for San Francisco for several years studying at Cisco Networking Academy, practicing self-care techniques and working in social justice. I then decided to come back up to Alaska with my partner and was looking for new inspiration when I ran into hemp and hemp homes. My goal has always been to bring sustainable restorative practices to construction in our communities.

What got you interested in hemp?

JB: I found out about hemp through the national publication of the North Carolina Hemp Home. The architect wanted to build an allergy free home based on the synthetic sensitivities his baby daughter had. She couldn’t be around typical synthetic home materials as it caused severe health problems. For me, this made complete sense! As an advocate of organic foods, clean water, and natural healing remedies, it made sense that we should build using all natural material. This is good for both the people and planet.

Tell me a bit about your vision with hemp and hempcrete?

JB: I am living in the vision. Since last fall, my crew has experimented with hemp insulation material before we started building with it. We read every book on hempcrete and consulted with hemp builders from all over the world. We learned from case studies of failures with hemp walls. Through all this, we have created a Portland Cement replacement with our lime based Hemp-Bond Mix that is locally sourced.

Portland Cement creates 40 billion tons of carbon waste. Our Hemp Bond Mix has zero carbon footprint that is stronger than cement, impervious to water, has a longer life cycle, self-leveling, and does not have to be cooked. Our aim is to continue to develop these indigenous technologies tailored for rural Alaska to give it away to a community that has funding to start a pilot home in the village.

There’s a real need for this in Alaska as we are impacted by high cost of energy. It costs an average of $7-$10 a gallon to heat a home with diesel. This impacts average household income by around 50%. With our lime-based hemp insulation material, families could save up to 70% of their heating bills.

What is the policy for hemp in Alaska? Are there any pilots or research going on?

JB: There’s an Alaskan Senate Bill for the commercialization of Alaskan hemp. They actually took out the “research” clause, and are aiming to get to full commercialization. Last year, the senator that led that bill was awarded one of his bills (but not this one). According to his aide, it looks likely that this bill will pass in 2017.

Will hemp be popular in Alaska?

JB: From my discussion with folks here, the older generation are aware of it, but not so much with the younger generation. Most people are not aware of hemp having all these industry applications.

I actually just attended a city hall in Homer this past week, where the governor was having a Q&A. I actually got a chance to stand and present my case about hemp. I also brought some samples with me that I passed around to show what hemp shiv looks like. The crowd was amazed at the potential of this plant.

Jack Bennett with Alaska Governor Bill Walker

Jack Bennett with Alaska Governor Bill Walker

What did the governor have to say about it?

JB: The governor didn’t have as much to say at the time, but it seemed like he was genuinely interested. But the mayor did ask if I could come back and do a presentation to the city council at a future date.

Is hemp suitable to grow in Alaska?

JB: From what I’ve learned, hemp was grown in Alaska in 1963. A state agronomist had a partnership with University of Wisconsin to test out hemp in the delta region of Alaska during the summer months. They were testing to see if hemp would grow during the long days in Alaska. It worked, so it’s been proven that hemp can grow in this state.

I’d like to dig a bit more deeper into the details about the hemp home. So how does a hemp home actually work? Does it look and feel the same as other homes?

JB: When you ask someone who’s been in a hemp home, they’ll tell you that they notice the difference right away. It smells better and you just feel better.

Hemp is a replacement for drywall, OSB plywood, fiberglass insulation, polyurethane foam replacement. I found that 55% of the world’s energy consumption is construction-waste related. Hemp homes have zero construction waste. So by building hemp homes, we’re doing our part to reduce your carbon footprint.

Did you know that France is building 2 million houses out of hemp this year? Hemp usage in construction is projected to increase by 80% by 2020.

Wow, I had no idea. That’s amazing. So in the long run, how do you think this will benefit Alaska?

JB: This is about sustainability and the local economy. This solution will allow us to build energy efficient, allergy free, affordable homes. If we’re able to grow our own hemp, the hemp farming will also help cut high freight costs and bring countless industries to Alaska.

Currently, what are your biggest challenges and obstacles?

JB: The freight cost of bringing hemp to Alaska. Since hemp farming is still in prohibition here, I have to import it until a bill passes.

What stage is NUNAWorks in? What’s the goal of 2016?

JB: We are working to build a model of the hemp home to show people what hempcrete can do. We were actually developing this sustainable home before I even found out about hemp. After doing more research, we decided to add hempcrete into our vision. So now the first floor will be made out of rammed earth and the second floor will be made out of hempcrete. We’re envisioning a home that will be completely sustainable, even the energy source (solar and water).


Construction of hemp home in Alaska

The timeline of this model home is before the end of 2016. We don’t have that much time, but we’re hoping to get the structural and exterior work done before the winter comes. This will allow us to work on the interior during the cold months.

How can our readers help?

JB: The primary goal is to raise awareness of hemp. Here’s some ways you can start adopting more hemp:

  1. Start to slowly convert to wearing hemp clothes.
  2. Experiment with hemp seeds by trying it on your salad dressings, yogurt, smoothies.
  3. Start your own micro green business working with local chefs or packaging micro greens for store fronts.
  4. Start your own hemp building project in your community such as a hemp shed.

If you’re going to build with the hemp, start practicing with your shiv and binder. Every climate is different of how much ratio you have to use. It’s not just something you can watch on YouTube. Also, consider making the investment to engage in a hempcrete workshop.

Thanks so much for your time today Jack. Best of luck and I’m excited to hear more about your model home as it finishes up.

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Cannabis Hemp Car looks to reverse Climate Change

Ministry of Hemp talks with Bruce Michael Dietzen, founder of Renew Sports Cars – the startup that created the Cannabis Car. We sat down with Bruce to learn how he…

Ministry of Hemp talks with Bruce Michael Dietzen, founder of Renew Sports Cars – the startup that created the Cannabis Car.


Bruce Michael Dietzen with his Cannabis Hemp Car

We sat down with Bruce to learn how he transitioned from being a National Sales Manager at Dell to starting a car company that could fundamentally change the landscape of the transportation industry.

But first, here is a bit of history. The original Hemp Car was introduced by Henry Ford back in 1941. This car was made from hemp, soy, flax wheat straw and ramie, and powered by hemp fuel made from the agricultural waste. Henry Ford was a hemp farmer, just like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and he was inspired to create the car not out of a concern about the environment, but to help struggling American farmers. Through this effort, Ford inadvertently almost paved the way for sustainable, carbon neutral cars. Yet, his discovery laid hidden for over 75 years.

Bruce talks about “Renew-ing” Ford’s vision and the benefits which hemp-based vehicles will bring.

Let’s start from the beginning. How did you first get introduced to hemp?

Bruce Dietzen: It was quite by accident actually. I had already begun the process of designing a car inspired by numerous European race cars from the 1950s. Back in those days, while American designers thought rocket ships were sexy, Europeans designers thought the only thing that was sexy was the voluptuous curves of a woman. In my humble opinion, they were right then, and that design maxim still holds true today. So I was simply designing a sexy car.

So what happened then?

“I knew I had to follow in Henry Ford’s footsteps.”

BD: That’s when someone told me “If you want something beyond just sexy and truly world changing, check out what Henry Ford did with his hemp car.” So I did. As it turns out, Ford spent 12 years, from 1929 to 1941, planning to make and fuel all future Ford Motor vehicles from plants like cannabis hemp.


henry ford built hemp car in 1941

He actually made a car with hemp?

BD: Yes. To draw a comparison, Henry Ford was the Steve Jobs of his day. He was always thinking years ahead. So I was compelled to look into his supposed hemp car in depth. And with some help from my new found friend Brandon Pitcher of Hemp Circle Industries and his network of analysts, we calculated just how green Henry Ford’s prototype hemp car really. Frankly, we were shocked with what we found.

What did you find?

BD: Henry Ford had discovered how to make cars from hemp that were four times greener than today’s electric vehicles, almost 75 years ago. That’s when I knew I had to follow in Henry Ford’s footsteps.

Four times greener? Most people assume that electric cars are the ultimate green solution. How is that possible?

BD: A Union of Concerned Scientists study recently concluded that the Lifetime Carbon Footprint (LCF) of today’s electric vehicles are about half that of gasoline cars. Unfortunately, they forgot to factor in that electric vehicles need a second set of lithium ion batteries in order to reach today’s average Vehicle Miles Traveled of 227,200 miles. Once, you factor a second set of batteries in, electric vehicles have an Lifetime Carbon Footprint that’s 66% of gas cars.

How does Henry Ford’s Hemp Car stack up against that?

BD: By making every component he possibly could from carbon negative plants like hemp, Ford offset the other carbon positive components. As a result, he effectively negated the CO2 generated during the manufacturing process which is usually about 23% of an internal combustion vehicle’s Life Carbon Footprint. He then fueled his car with cellulosic ethanol made from hemp remnants, which today is considered a second generation biofuel and 86% greener than gasoline. So the math was simple from there. Electric vehicles s have a footprint that’s 66% of gas cars, while Ford’s hemp car had a footprint that was 14% of gas cars. That’s a pretty big difference.

4.7 times greener. I get it. So what are the implications?

BD: Electric Vehicles aren’t going to save the planet but Ford’s vision could. The world’s fleet of cars and trucks is projected to increase by 2.5 times by 2050. Just to hold steady with the total CO2 they generate today, 100% of cars would have to be electric (of which only 50% are projected), and their footprint would have to drop from 66% of gas cars to 40%. That’s not going to be easy considering that the aluminum, lithium and petro-plastics used to make electric vehicles are intensely carbon positive, and the electricity used to charge electric vehicles will still be highly fossil fuel dependent for decades to come due to increased demand for more electricity.

By contrast, let’s envision today’s existing cars and trucks running on a biofuel that’s compatible with today’s liquid fuel infrastructure. Something like cellulosic Biobutanol. This is not only possible to do with minor modifications to existing engines, but the entire infrastructure required to produce these types of fuels right here in the States would cost less than the cost to build the F35 fighter jet. And the amount of CO2 which our vehicles add to the environment would be cut by 87% within a decade.

That’s quite a contrast. But you believe we could take a step beyond that right? Your vehicles could actually help reverse climate change?

“It’s now possible to create carbon negative fuels which are 100% compatible with the gas powered cars on the road today.”

BD: Yes. Again, by using agricultural waste, apparently it’s now possible to create carbon negative fuels which are 100% compatible with the gas powered cars on the road today. This type of fuel is carbon negative because it yields a byproduct called biochar which gets plowed back into agricultural soils. So some of the CO2 which plants pull out of the environment gets recycled, and some of it gets buried or “sequestered.” Using these types of fuels, we can actually help reverse climate change with every mile we travel.

And the agricultural waste from hemp plants can be used to make carbon negative fuels?

BD: Yes, as well as any other type of agricultural waste or yard trimmings.

You were a National Sales Manager at Dell, effectively retired, and had moved to Florida. You could’ve just kicked back and enjoyed retirement. What motivated you to launch this startup?

BD: I didn’t want to look back at the end of my life on this little blue ball and think “Wow, I sold a lot of computers.” I saw an opportunity to help save the planet and I took it.



Why use hemp in particular?

“Body panels and chassis components made from hemp are lighter weight than steel or metal, and are are far more dent resistant than steel. Every bit of plastic, carpeting and upholstery in a car can be made of hemp.”

BD: For car production, nothing beats hemp. Body panels and chassis components made from hemp are lighter weight than steel or metal, and are are far more dent resistant than steel. Every bit of plastic, carpeting and upholstery in a car can be made of hemp. So as I mentioned earlier, all of these components, when made from carbon negative hemp instead of carbon positive materials can reduce the lifetime carbon footprint of cars by up to 23%.

There are other plants we could use of course, but hemp grows faster than just about any other plant that can be used to make products. It needs far less fertilizer, insecticides and water. Its yield is higher and it’s actually good for the soil. It not only produces some of the strongest fiber in nature, but also produces very nutritious seeds as well as something called Cannabidiol which is being used to treat dozens of illnesses from Epilepsy to Alzheimers to Cancer. It’s the most versatile and beneficial planet on Earth.

So Henry Ford made the original hemp car back in 1941, but it never commercialized. Why do you think it never did?

BD: Oh it would have. And we all would likely be driving Cannabis Cars today if it weren’t for World War II. Ford had been working on his cannabis car for 12 years. In his mind, all vehicles would be made and fueled by plants in the future. But only months after debuting his car, President FDR, who was on a mission to “War Time Mobilize” the country, visited Ford in Dearborn and convinced him to stop making cars and make bombers instead. So for the duration of the war, that’s exactly what Ford did. During that period, Mr. Ford suffered several strokes, and then passed away shortly after the war ended. Several years later, his hemp prototype was destroyed for some undocumented reason, and Henry Ford’s greatest achievement was nearly lost to history.

It’s a fascinating story. In fact, we plan to make an episode in an upcoming Docu-series that does just that. So here’s the bottom line. Ford helped win the war, but he could have saved the planet.

So, do you think Henry Ford’s vision will ever come to fruition?

BD: Absolutely. In my humble opinion, we have no other choice than to adopt his vision and ‘War Time Mobilize’ once again. Because the war against climate change is the going to be the most important war humanity has ever faced.

“We have no other choice than to adopt his vision.”

Climatologists are now saying that we need to take dramatic measures beyond simply banning fossil fuels. We need to be actively sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. One of the most effective ways that we will hopefully be doing this in the near future is by making our durable goods, our vehicles and our fuels from carbon negative plants like hemp.

Do you think a car like this can become commercially viable? If so, what do you envision the price point to be?


Cannabis Hemp Car in Dallas TX

BD: Certainly. At an entry level price of $40,000 we already have a car that’s only a little more expensive than the average boring-mobile. And the high end, 640 hp version of the car is roughly half the price of exotic cars with comparable power to weight ratios.

What do you see as the biggest challenge/obstacle to get to that vision?

BD: The biggest challenge right now is financing individual car purchases. We get a lot of interest in the car, but most folks don’t have 40 thousand in cash. So we need to sell the first 20 cars or so for cash, establishing a value for these cars in the market. At that point, the financing companies will be more willing to finance or lease these vehicles.

This is one of those innovations that could truly change the fundamental landscape of the transportation/auto industry. How could the public support you?

BD: Folks can not only support Renew Sports Cars, but all the emerging companies making hemp products. Simply googling ‘hemp’ and buying hemp products can help grow the hemp industry. Every time they buy a hemp product, they not only support hemp related businesses, but they help save the planet.

We’d love to learn more about the Cannabis car you built.

BD: The best way to do that I suppose is to visit the Renew Sports Cars web site.

So, what’s next for you & Renew Sports Cars?

BD: The next thing we plan to do is build a few high performance versions of this car. One may be electric, and another one will have a 640 horsepower internal combustion engine capable of running on either gas or even 100% second and third generation biofuels. At roughly 2,900 pounds, it will have a power to weight ratio comparable to supercars in the half million dollar range, at less than half the price. I’m hoping that is going to get us on the cover of Car and Driver. I’d like to see that!


Cannabis hemp Car Documentary

The other thing I’m working on is a Docu-series with Diana Oliver who produced Hempsters, Plant the Seed. It’s called Hempsters, Cannabis Car and we’ll be traveling across the country investigating if all of these stories we keep hearing about cannabis being used to save lives and save the planet are really true…in a car made of cannabis hemp!

Thanks for your time today Bruce. We love the work you’re doing for hemp and look forward to seeing many more hemp cars in the future!

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