HempWood flooring is officially in production.
HempWood, co-founded by Greg Wilson in 2018, is made from compressed hemp stalks and sealed with a soy-based adhesive. The material was developed to mimic the hardness, density and stability of oak.
Fibonacci has been producing HempWood blocks and lumber at its 16,500-square-foot facility in Murray since it opened in August 2019.
Wilson says just weeks after opening, an employee from TWF paid him a visit to inquire about making flooring out of his HempWood. As it turns out, TFW had been toying with the idea of making hemp-based floors for years.
TWF is a family-owned company that started more than two decades ago and is based on a farm. The company specializes in custom prefinished flooring made from both new wood “from replenishable forests,” according to the company’s website, as well as with reclaimed barn wood.
Wilson says the family had the “grit to develop new products.”
“It made sense to go with the local family-owned business because we literally drive the material back and forth to each other,” Wilson says. “We both share the same ideal of ‘eco-friendly and made in the USA.’”
Fibonacci supplies the HempWood, while TFW presses the material into floor planks.
The companies are aiming to have the processes honed and flooring ready for order by early March.
“We’re producing enough [HempWood] to make about 5,000 square feet [of flooring] a week,” Wilson says. The flooring will be available for purchase on both TFW’s and HempWood’s websites.
Since launching, Wilson has been busy at work fielding calls from interested partners and customers and growing his production capacity.
Last year, Fibonacci had contracts with Murray State University and other Kentucky growers for more than 2,000 tons of hemp stalks. Many of those stalks were second or third products from farmers who were growing for seed or flower. But this year, he’s contracted with another five farmers who grow hemp dedicated strictly for fiber for HempWood, and he’s looking to purchase more hemp fiber as the year goes on. He aims to source all the hemp within 100 miles of his facility in Murray.
Fibonacci has also recently formed a partnership with Reel Lumber Service, based in southern California, which now sells HempWood lumber.
HempWood’s expansion may just be beginning. Wilson is eyeing other partners around the country, but with patents pending in Australia, Canada and the European Union, his end goal is even larger than that.
“It’ll end up being around the world,” Wilson says about HempWood.