Growing businesses.

The  23rd conference of the Hemp Industries Association in Denver Colorado welcomed established industry leaders and a new crop of younger entrepreneurs looking to the horizon in this emerging market.

Since the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp pilot programs have been popping up as more U.S. states relax their restrictions on industrial hemp production, and the result has been a significant growth in the business opportunities across diverse markets.

Suppliers foreign and domestic…

Until recently, U.S. businesses have depended exclusively on  foreign suppliers for raw hemp products for processing. As we see U.S. production ramping up, interest and opportunity for new businesses and products are emerging. Having witnessed the growth of the industry for a number of years, we found the increasing level of vitality and creativity of the conference attendees palpable and exciting. Suppliers of  hemp-based textiles, food, medicinal, and health care products lined the conference tables and walls. Alembic Studio provided a presentation to conference participants and the Building Department of Adams County Colorado  on the economic viability of hempcrete and its projected  impact within the U.S. building industry. Appealing to both  construction professionals and the general public, hemp building products provide an expanded palette for addressing a variety of conditions not covered by more common materials in the market. As a major component of our national economy, it is exciting to think of the possibilities the construction industry offers the growing hemp economy .

Building the industry.

Hemp hurd used in construction is a co-product the  plant that is grown for seed, fiber and a number of myriad other uses. A number of businesses  around the country are sitting on tons of U.S. produced hurd, looking for a place where it might be utilized. This is where the building industry can come in. Hurd is one of the core components in building homes out of hemp. While a number of hurdles remain, the establishment of a domestic supply chain for hurd has moved forward mightily recently. Current efforts underway in the design of engineered hemp wall systems should provide a meaningful boost to the economic production of hemp.

The Nauhaus Prototype proved that  hempcrete, as  part of an integrated systems design, provides amazing benefits to the housing market. It creates healthier living spaces, significantly cuts energy costs, and hugely reduces a house’s carbon footprint. Unfortunately, and due to a number of factors, the costs for building with hempcrete were out of reach of the majority of citizens.  Until now.

HIA Conference in Denver, CO- Alembic Studio information table on hemp design and construction. Alembic Studio presents Pre-Engineered Hemp Homes

Within the housing market one of the most under-served demographics are  homeowners whose budgets lie  between 250k and 400k dollars. This slice of the market pie is hempcrete’s best opportunity in taking the place of conventional construction methods. We designed the Alinea Series as a step forward in simplifying the process of building with hempcrete. The Alembic team designed four different models with core engineering specs that streamline construction, while allowing for customization. Projects can be kept on strict budgets without sacrificing any of the benefits of this unique material.

What I hope to witness at upcoming HIA Conferences is that these energetic entrepreneurs bring their focus to bear on the economics and logistics of processing this raw material so new products can be designed and manufactured locally of domestically grown hemp. Hemp has come a long way in recent years thanks to the dedication of a host of diligent and committed individuals and organizations. I suspect the best is yet to come.