Ind Hemp, a privately owned hemp fiber production company, recently built a $30 million industrial hemp decortication line. Based in Montana, the company with this move is paving the way for industrial hemp as a legitimate building material.
There’s a lot more work to be done. A study by the National Hemp Association found that for the United States to gain a $32 billion positive economic impact from domestic industrial hemp production by 2030, we’ll need 524 more of these facilities. Luckily, private equity is swooping in to pump dollars into the cause. A fund called RePlant Hemp Impact Fund has announced that it plans to invest $500 million by 2030 into industrial hemp supply chain infrastructure. Geoff Whaling, cannabis advocate and CEO of RePlant Hemp Impact Fund, hopes that the money will jump-start the industrial hemp business.
The plan, according to Whaling, is to incentivize large corporations with a robust existing supply chain. Without a supply chain, corporations will be hesitant to invest.
Many see hemp as a potential new cash crop for American farmers, and an opportunity to shift gears towards a more sustainable, universally applicable material.
Where CBD products represent one side of hemp cultivation, industrial hemp is a different thing altogether. Investors see an even larger potential market with industrial hemp. This makes sense: it's produced on a larger scale and can address the goal of reducing the general industry’s carbon footprint and ecological effect.
Overall, industrial hemp offers better use of farmland, opportunities for rural jobs, and a product that literally sucks carbon out of the atmosphere at impressive levels.
As we’re coming to understand, the uses of industrial hemp are nearly endless. An Idaho maker of hemp insulation claims that its product outperforms traditional fiberglass and construction companies are even investigating the benefits of ‘hempcrete’ (quite literally: hemp concrete).
Private equity firms will have to pump more money into the industry, but this is a promising next step in the adoption of industrial hemp into the American production landscape.