The cost of building a home is on the rise, but one Kansas resident is hoping to grow the ingredients to build his.
PJ Sneed recently purchased land in southwest Reno County which he hopes to turn to his new family home, complete with a barn, greenhouse and industrial hemp-growing operation. Sneed plans to use “hempcrete” to build his home, which is exactly as it sounds: building material made from hemp.
“It’s basically a breathing filter, once you get it set up, and you’re living in it, it’s a living air filter. It will continue to absorb CO2 over it’s lifetime,” Sneed said.
Industrial hemp does not have THC properties, so users could not get a high off of it. Sneed says hemp has over 20,000 uses.
“No crop has come along in the last 60 years that has the potential of hemp,” Sneed said.
Sneed recently retired after 21 years as a burn nurse for Via Christi. He hopes to continue helping people by becoming one of the first organic industrial hemp farmers in Kansas.
On his property is “volunteer” naturally-growing industrial hemp. The US outlawed hemp after the “Marihuana Tax Act of 1937,” which was to target marijuana growth and use, but lumped in hemp as well.
Earlier this year, Kansas passed the Alternative Crop Research Act allowing the Kansas Department of Agriculture to oversee the cultivation of industrial hemp in a research program. Sneed is well-versed in the legislation and knows he will have to file an application to begin his own growth operation.
He sees the payoff as well worth his time.
“Last year, the United States did 500 million in hemp alone. We’re the largest importer of hemp in the world but yet we can’t grow it. There’s a huge tidal wave of money coming that I thought would be a good thing to switch to,” Sneed said.
If Sneeds application is processed and accepted, he hopes to begin growing the industrial hemp on his property in May.