A new hemp factory has opened that will specialize in producing a sustainably sourced wood substitute. HempWood, operated by a company called Fibonacci LLC, is the brainchild of owner Greg Wilson and his experience working with Chinese bamboo technology. His process purports to mimic the growth algorithm of oak trees to get a durable hemp product by mixing it with a soybean-based glue for a long-lasting building material.
For the moment, the factory is focused on manufacturing flooring materials, but a representative from the company says that in the future, the sky’s the limit on what they’ll be able to make with the substance.
HempWood decided to set up shop in Murray, a Kentucky town that could offer a partnership with Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture. Wilson has told the media that the school not only helped to link him with nearby hemp farmers to ensure a consistent supply of raw materials, but also assisted in the application for his processing license.
The school sees the benefit in having a partner in the state’s growing hemp industry “from internships to future jobs,” Murray State president Bob Jackson said at the plant’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Teaching and learning from an agricultural standpoint, business standpoint, chemistry standpoint, and I could go on and on.”
Company founder Greg Wilson has a background in materials science, and worked for nearly a decade in China in sustainable material factories. He says that when the 2014 US Farm Bill made it legal to use hemp for scientific research, he built a home laboratory and started exploring the possibilities of hemp. He came up with a process that creates a product 20 percent denser than oak.
“Hemp is a lot like strand-woven