by Mark Hay
Building with Hempcrete. Photo by Steven Craven
As state after state slowly moves towards marijuana legalization, it seems like everyone is trying to cash in on the pot-farming boom. But legalization opens the door to a world of innovation and entrepreneurship that’s a lot wider than new, inventive ways to get high, like weed sodas. In “green rush” states like Colorado, farmers are taking advantage of the new legal environment to sow fields of hemp, marijuana’s THC-deficient cousin. Because of its relationship to cannabis, hemp has been illegal in America for over 60 years, despite a consistent chorus of supporters who have touted its use as a natural fiber and food supplement in Canada and Europe. Compared to the economic potential of legalized marijuana, that of pot’s fibrous cousin seems like small potatoes. Yet one use of the plant could revolutionize construction in the U.S., creating a new, lucrative industry for growers: Hempcrete.