This North Carolina house is made of eco-friendly hemp-based bricks, and the company that makes them wants to start building a similar house in California. Throw in a natty hemp suit and Cheech and Chong’s marijuana-resin car, and you’ve got most of the recipe for an entirely pot-based suburban idyll.
Hemp Technologies manufactures “hempcrete” bricks, made from the woody stems of cannabis plants. The hemp is mixed with lime (the mineral, not the fruit) to form a termite-resistant, mold-resistant, earthquake-resistant material. Even better: The lime actually sucks carbon dioxide out of the air. Hemp Technologies estimates that their proposed California project, a 500-square-foot home near Santa Barbara, would sequester about 12 tons of CO2.
You can’t actually smoke these houses — hemp has only trace amounts of THC, the stuff that makes pot fun cool dangerous, kids! So in the event of one of Cali’s trademark wildfires, you’re not going to end up with a bunch of dazed firefighters going “man, those flames are huuuuuuge.” (The stuff is fire-resistant anyway, which some would argue misses the whole point of marijuana.) Unfortunately, though, neither California law nor federal law really differentiates between smokable cannabis and the kind you use for clothes and bricks and mayonnaise. So Hemp Technologies has some legal hoops to jump through before it can start building — unless, I guess, it can get a prescription.