Could hemp wood become the next market revolution in sustainable products? Some assert it could be manufactured as an alternative – perhaps even a superior one – to polymers, fabrics, paper, soy, corn, wood – maybe even motor vehicle components.
Los Angeles hemp business attorneys know it may be something of a misnomer to refer to these uses as revolutionary, as the fibers derived from industrial hemp (one of two forms of the cannabis sativa plant) have been used for many thousands of years by civilizations for production of paper, cloth materials and even fuel. Unlike it’s cousin marijuana, neither hemp nor its derivative CBD contains the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) known for producing the “high.” That is the primary reason it was removed from the list of narcotics banned per the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, while marijuana remains.
Production of hemp materials has been a mainstay in parts of Europe and China, though in U.S. and many other parts of the world, its use slowed or halted entirely thanks to widespread marijuana prohibition. The current shift is not only due to the “green rush” set off by the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill that legalized industrial hemp, but also by the extreme ecological damage inflicted by polymers and fossil fuels.
Hemp cultivators and manufacturers will need to be cautious as they enter this new domain not only to ensure quality but also compliance with relevant state and federal regulations, including in marketing.
What Makes Hemp Superior to Plastic, Cotton and Wood?
In addition to the fact that hemp measures up in almost every way to the alternatives that replaced during prohibition, many assert it is superior on many fronts. Among those:
- It is a weed. As such, it requires no pesticides and very little space and water to grow – and grow well. That makes it a superior option to trees when it comes to paper and wood products. Plus, the turnaround time is faster for growth is factor. Compared to cotton, it is far less labor intensive to cultivate.
- It is a plant. Unlike the single-use petroleum-based plastic products that have become such a prolific problem in our oceans, it’s biodegradable. Plus, assuming it’s controlled/in check, it’s actually good for the environment because it helps to sequester carbon dioxide, returns soil nutrients and filter rainwater.
- It is efficient. California hemp farmers know that the versatility of hemp is in large part thanks to the fact that no element of it is wasted. Many cultivators supply several companies because each requires a separate part of the plant for their own purpose. For example, the oil extracts can be used to make anything from adhesive material to plastics to paints to cooking. The leaves can be consumed or ground to make juice. The outer fiber of the stalk is used for production of rope and cloth material. The wood-like material on the inside can be used for construction of heartier products – including a wood-like substance.
As such, hemp is gaining growing popularity in environmental advocacy circles and individuals who recognize its success in replacing non-eco-friendly materials.
Although some cannabis businesses in California still see hemp products as novelty, savvy entrepreneurs recognize that consumers are becoming especially conscious of their personal carbon footprint and the global impact of the everyday products they buy and waste produced. In all likelihood, we’re in for a hemp market boom.
Globally, the industrial hemp market is estimated to balloon to a value of $10.6 billion over the next six years.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, ancillary companies, patients, doctors and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
Hemp-based wood startup ready to enter market despite US-China trade war tariff, June 14, 2019, Marijuana Business Daily