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Pennsylvania's Hemp Builders: Collaboration and Creativity

A stone guest cottage in western Pennsylvania has been remodeled with hempcrete by Coexist Build.

By Jean Lotus

Before the 80-year U.S. prohibition of marijuana and hemp, the hemp industry in Pennsylvania was one of the oldest in the United States. Hemp was grown in the colony ever since 1683, when William Penn and the General Assembly declared the plant one of the four staples of the colony.

In more recent times, Pennsylvania was a hemp early adopter, as federal laws criminalizing industrial hemp started to break down after the 2014 Farm Bill.

The commonwealth’s legislature passed unanimous and bi-partisan pro-hemp legislation in a single session in 2016, two years before the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp nationwide.

“The enthusiasm is still there, and we’re building out the market,” said Erica Stark, executive director of the Pennsylvania-based National Hemp Association.

“We really want to see the fiber and grain market take off and entice investment to see decorticators built in Pennsylvania,” Stark told Hempbuild Magazine.

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