Levi’s now making jeans from hemp

+ Rastafarians in Barbados rejoice and the New York Times asks pointed questions on the big money behind pot in your morning buzz

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The fashion industry in the U.S. is abuzz over news that the iconic jean outfit Levi’s has teamed up with Outerknown (a company run by former pro surfer Kelly Slater) to produce a line of denim products made of hemp. The line will include jackets, shirts and a new edition of the classic Levi’s 511 jeans.

The U.S. signed a farm bill last year making hemp legal. The fibrous part of the cannabis plant, hemp is a vastly more sustainable crop than cotton, requiring far less water to grow, meaning it’s good for both business and the environment.

More on this story at Emerald Magazine.

Speaking of hemp… 

Some enterprising builders are turning to “hempcrete,” concrete made from hemp, as a greener alternative to cement.

Cement is one of the most common (and versatile) building materials in the entire world. Problem is, it’s also enormously wasteful: steel and cement production accounted for 4.6 billion tons of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2017. 

Hemp has been used since Roman times as a building material, but prohibition made it impossible to use legally for decades in North America.

And unlike concrete, hempcrete even continues to absorb carbon when it’s mixed with lime or clay. Neat! 

Read more about that in Bloomberg.

Medical marijuana is coming to Barbados, and the country’s Rastafarians rejoice

Barbados is working towards setting up a medical marijuana regime. That is welcome news to the country’s Rastafarians, who will have 60 acres of land set aside for them to participate in the industry. Followers of the religion use cannabis in many of their sacred rituals. (It’s also from them that we get the word “ganja.”) 

Read more about it in the Jamaican Observer.

The New York Times asks: do we need big money in weed? 

A provocative op-ed published in the New York Times over the weekend has the cannabis  industry in North America talking.

Do We Really Want a Microsoft of Marijuana? asks the headline. Writer Christopher Caldwell argues that banking restrictions in the United States, which has resulted in weed companies being completely shut out, has created a happy accident, in that small businesses stay small.

“Good political outcomes are often accidental. Institutions get built at some arbitrary resting place between two clashing logics. Our current marijuana banking regime is the result of such an accident,” writes Caldwell. “For now it may be the country’s best way to avoid a premature and destructive consolidation.” 

Check out the article here, and join the conversation on Twitter.