By Jean Lotus
DENVER, Oct. 2 (UPI) — Most U.S. farmers are growing hemp for cannabidiol, but hemp-based hardwood and bioplastics businesses have sprouted up this fall, expanding the newly legal crop’s potential.
Hemp has been promoted as a plant material that can be made into 50,000 different products, but uses other than extracting CBD — a compound found in marijuana that doesn’t get you high — have been slow to grow.
Murray, Ky.-based HempWood opened a 15,600-square-foot factory last month with the introduction of a wood-substitute plank made from hemp. The pressed boards are 20 percent denser than oak, and the plant material can be grown in six months as opposed to 200 years for an oak tree, the company, Fibonacci LLC, said.
Hardwood panels, which can be used for flooring, furniture and other woodworking projects, are based on a technology adapted from the bamboo industry, said John Crye, the company’s director of sales and marketing.