Despite an ongoing controversy in parts of the world, hemp is widely used in a large variety of applications, including soap, clothing, building supplies and fuel. But next year we will be able to add a new use for hemp if Canada’s Hempearth can get the world’s first hemp-based and hemp-fueled plane in the air. Last month Hempearth signed a contract with a Florida-based plane manufacturer to build a plane made almost entirely out of the fast-growing Cannabis plant.

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Derek Kesek, a former organic restaurant owner, said that people initially laughed at him when he revealed his plans to build a plane out of hemp. “Can you smoke it, too?” But now Kesek is getting the last laugh since the first hemp plane is slated to be produced some time next year. And it will have a much smaller carbon footprint than most planes made out of fiberglass. Kesek believes that his hemp plane could revolutionize the world — “just like Steve Jobs did with his phones.”

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“We are building this essentially from weeds from the garden. When nickel and other elements are taken, they can’t be put back.”

Around 75 percent of the plane will be constructed of industrial hemp and the four-seater plane will have a wingspan of 36 feet. In addition to being constructed of hemp, the plane will also be powered by hemp biofuel. If all goes as planned, the hemp plane will take its first initial flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where the world’s first successful aircraft flight took place.

+ Hempearth