Hemp Is the New Oak? The First Hemp “Wood” Factory in America Is Being Built

A company from Maryland, USA will invest $5.8 million in a Kentucky factory for the production of HempWood, i.e. “eco-friendly timber” which helps create a wood-like material using hemp fiber.

The company known as Fibonacci LLC has secured a lease on 11,000 square feet facility in the west of Kentucky and they are planning on starting production this summer.

The owner of Fibonacci, Greg Wilson, explains that he has ordered more than 800 tons of hemp stalks from growers in Kentucky so that they can start with work.

How Does Hemp Mimic Oak?

As Wilson explains, an algorithm helps with the processing by mimicking the cycle of growth and properties of oak tree and determines the stability, density, and hardness. Hemp over wood has a lot of benefits to offer, including quicker growth and better density which increase the number of uses based on wood like flooring and furniture.

The products of HempWood will be available in the form of flooring, cutting boards, blocks, pre-cut boards, and skateboards. And, the price will be lower than the ones for oak products which is great.

The company received $300,000 in tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. If they meet the job and investment goals, they could keep some of its investment.

They plan on employing 25 people. The governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, said that this alternative hardwood option definitely opens up new doors in the world of construction and woodworking and accentuates the advantages of hemp across different sectors.

This endeavor is also very good for oak trees which are an endangered tree due to the high demand for oak furniture. The company will be using technology developed at another company of Wilson called SmartOak and a technology popularized by the strand-woven bamboo industry in China.




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