The funniest legal conundrum imaginable

In the above photograph is something which most people (including myself until very recently) think doesn’t presently exist:  industrial hemp, grown legally in the United States.

Activists everywhere are appalled because nobody is allowed to grow the industrial version of cannabis due to a looming threat from the DEA, yet here is a chunk of American-grown hemp fiber which I am going to turn into concrete.  Or, rather, Hempcrete.

The reason this is possible and has become a potentially comical legal conundrum is relatively simple:  the wood-like substance, known as the “hurd”, actually came from a medical cannabis plant.

Obviously, the federal government considers this totally illegal (or, rather, they refuse to acknowledge it exists.)  However, they have allowed for the importation and sale of hemp products.  Exactly what this will eventually become.

So, I mean this in all seriousness, can anybody tell me if I am committing some sort of crime here or not?  Is it somehow illegal to turn an existing, sustainable resource into a useful product?  Stems and seeds are not considered “usable product” under most state laws, it is generally just regarded as waste..

Anyone interested in this ongoing project, please leave a comment or contact me directly at


3 Responses to The funniest legal conundrum imaginable

  1. Pingback: The funniest legal conundrum imaginable | Abel Williams

  2. Brinna Nanda says:

    Congratulations on going green and using the hurds to make Hempcrete. I hope you post an online journal of your progress.

    As to your question: You are committing a crime (in the lights of the federal government) if you grow any cannabis at all. In medical marijuana states that allow for personal patient/caregiver grows. you are only committing that crime at the federal level, not the state. That said, mere possession or utilization of the hurds is not a crime, UNLESS, the hurds are tested and come up positive for more that .3% THC, which is highly unlikely, since THC in concentrated in the flower-tops and leaves. If you want to be “safe” you could always have the hurds tested. But if you just go ahead and build with it, what are they gonna do, sniff the concrete blocks and arrest your house?

    Well, come to think of it, I’m sure if they could, they would.

    • J Michels says:

      Thanks for the info, and yes I will keep this blog up to date on the progress of this little project. As far as them smelling anything or being able to find a test sample anywhere near .3% THC, there is absolutely no possible way it could happen. But the outer skin of the plant, which seems like it would be good for making paper, rope or fabric, may need to be processed before being used in a finished product..

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