Media Report: How the Lower Sioux Indian Community is building homes with hemp

Marijuana is newly legal in Minnesota, but its cannabis cousin, hemp, has had the green light for years. It’s used in textiles, clothes, food and THC-infused edibles popping up all across the state.

But in the Lower Sioux Indian Community in southwest Minnesota, tribal members are using part of the plant as a building block for a better future.

It’s called “hempcrete”—a mixture of hemp plus water and a binder that’s extracted from limestone. Lower Sioux Hemp has built three homes and a shed with the material. Admittedly, project manager Danny Desjarlais says, the name is a bit deceiving because it’s not like traditional concrete.

“You still have to frame the building with your traditional two by fours, two by six or steel beams or whatever you’re going to frame the structure with,” he told WCCO in a recent interview. “it still has to be framed with something other than hempcrete. Hempcrete is not structural, it’s basically your wall insulation and that’s it.”


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