Weekly Cannabis Headlines

by | Jan 4, 2019

Dutch Company Introduces the World’s First Pre-Fab House Made with Hemp

Dun Agro, a Dutch hemp company, has built the world’s first prefab house made out of hemp. According to the makers, the benefits of the plant-based adobe is its earthquake resistance, high isolation, and affordability.

To build the house, the Groningen-based company came up with their recipe, mixing hemp biomass with water and glue to create what they call “hempcrete” (from hemp+concrete). After three months of drying, the material is ready for use.

So far, Dun Agro has completed the construction of two hemp-based buildings their second home, made entirely out of hempcrete both inside and out. According to the company, under current hemp output rates in the Netherlands, they can manufacture up to 500 houses each year.

The people behind Dun Agro are not the first to build a hemp house, builders in the US have been using hempcrete for years. However, they are the first to create a pre-fab style home.

2018 Record Year for Cannabis Industry Investments

It is no secret that 2018 was a turning point for the legal cannabis industry: California legalized recreational marijuana (and became the largest legal US market), the first hemp-based pharmaceutical has been approved by the FDA and countries such as Canada, Mexico and Thailand have fundamentally changed their cannabis policies. Furthermore, 2019 promises to be an even more exciting year, as legalization is gaining ground in European countries.

According to New Frontier data, during 2018, legal marijuana became a $10B industry in the US alone, creating 250,000 new jobs in the cultivation aspect alone. “These figures compared to $5B invested in cannabis in the last three years combined,” said Beau Whitney, VP at NFD. It is expected that the buzz will carry on to next year, with experts estimating the size of the market will reach more than $16B in 2019.

New Hampshire Considering Recreational Marijuana Legalization Bill

New Hampshire officials are drafting a bill to legalize and regulate cannabis in the state. State Representative Renny Cushing said that his bipartisan bill is based on the work of a marijuana study commission. If passed, the bill would legalize possession of up to an ounce of recreational cannabis and 5 grams of concentrate for adults of 21 and older. There are also provisions for the growing of up to six plants.

“We’ve done our best to address every concern that was raised, in the year and a half study that the Abrami committee undertook,” Cushing told local radio.“You know, quite frankly, I think we’re in a situation where we’re on the right side of history, so to speak.”

Although the bill comes at a time when cannabis policies get increasingly lenient, NH Governor Chris Sununu and several public health advocacy groups remain staunch opponents of cannabis legalization in the state. Kate Frey, VP of Advocacy at New Futures Group, said: “At a time when we are battling the worst public health crisis in New Hampshire’s history, we cannot sacrifice the future of our young people by commercializing this harmful substance.”

THC-rich Cannabis Showing Promising Results Against Fibromyalgia Pain

A study conducted by Bedrocan International in collaboration with Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) showed that standardized pharmaceutical-grade cannabis high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) effectively treated musculoskeletal pain in patients with fibromyalgia.

The twenty patients participating in the study were exposed to pain inflicted externally by increasing pressure in four different occasions and were treated with three different cannabis-based products by Bedrocan and placebo (that is cannabis without CBD and THC) with the use of a vaporizer. According to Bedrocan, a company that produces legal medicinal marijuana adequate for being used as a pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for the Dutch government, “patients experienced significantly less pressure pain compared to the placebo.”

Tjalling Erkelens, CEO and founder of Bedrocan, also pointed out that “Now we have the serious clinical evidence that medical doctors are asking for when prescribing our products and that health insurance companies want to have, to legitimize reimbursement.”

Leading CBD Company Elixinol Behind Hemp Plastics Startup

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill put an end to the almost century-long federal ban on hemp cultivation. Farmers and manufacturers of CBD-based products are no longer operating in an ambiguous legal status, and the investment floodgates have opened.

In this positive atmosphere, companies like Elixinol Global (one of the country’s leading CBD manufacturers by market share) are looking to take matters one step further. Specifically, the updated Farm Bill breathed new life into the once failed plan of Elixinol’s CEO Paul Benhaim: to create biodegradable plastics derived from discarded hemp biomass.

Until recently, waste from the extraction of hemp to make tinctures and extracts used to be shipped to Asian countries as stock feed, since federal law didn’t allow further use. However, Benhaim now plans to use it to form four brand new plastic polymers through his latest startup, the Hemp Plastic Company.