Hempcrete mixes hemp fibers with a lime-based binder.

Hemp-based insulation, which has been used in Europe for 30 years, has been approved by the International Code Council for use in the United States.

Hempcrete has been banned in the United States because hemp and marijuana are both derived from the cannabis plant, which the U.S. deemed illegal until passage of the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018. The only difference is that hemp is legally defined as containing 0.3 percent or less of THC, the chemical in marijuana that produces the high, while marijuana refers to cannabis that has more than 0.3 percent of THC by dry weight.

Hemp proponents like the U.S. Hemp Building Association, engineers, architects and builders have been seeking approval for the use of hempcrete for more than a year from members of the International Code Council, who voted at an annual conference to include hemp insulation as a standard material for residential construction in the 2023 U.S. building code appendix, according to a Sept. 26 news release from the ICC.

The changes will take effect in 2024, but code officials say local building departments can begin applying the new guidelines now for proposed projects. The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department is currently considering changes for the 2023 Pikes Peak Regional Building Code, which will be finalized later this year.

Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds — woodlike fibers in the stalks of cannabis plants previously considered waste — and a lime binder.

As insulation, hempcrete has advantages over traditional materials — it’s long-lasting and resists fire, mold and pests. Because hemp stores carbon, hempcrete can significantly reduce a building’s carbon footprint.

“With this approval, hemp-lime construction has moved to the mainstream, creating a new era of investment opportunities, research, workforce development, architecture and construction,” says Henry Gage Jr., president of the U.S. Hemp Building Association, in the news release.

Snoop’s snacks

New products from legendary rapper Snoop Dogg have joined the growing menu of edibles that get you high and satisfy the munchies at the same time.

Snoop Dogg partnered with TSUMo Snacks to produce Snazzle Os — cannabis-infused, crispy, onion-flavored rings, which launched Oct. 6 at dispensaries in California.

Snoop and TSUMo decided to focus on salty, savory snacks because so many chocolate and gummy edibles already are on the market, TSUMo co-founder and Chief Executive Caroline Yeh tells The Washington Post in an Oct. 3 review of the new products.

The company also makes various flavors of cannabis-infused cheese puffs and tortilla chips.

Snazzle Os come in onion and spicy onion flavors, and dosages are printed on the packages.

Best ganja getaways

Denver and Boulder rank No. 1 and No. 4 among weed-friendly U.S. vacation destinations — and Colorado Springs is No. 8 — according to a new study from Upgraded Points, a website that provides information on travel and credit cards.

The site also analyzed the average cost of a four-day weed getaway in 50 major U.S. cities where weed is legal and came up with a list of the cheapest destinations for a cannabis vacation.

The study results, released Sept. 16, found Oakland, California, and Spokane, Washington, were the most cost-efficient destinations, with a four-day price tag of $1,068 and $1,135, respectively. Fort Collins came in at No. 4 on the list, with a total cost of $1,143.

But Denver, which offers 19 guided cannabis bus tours and 64 licensed dispensaries for every 100,000 people, was named the best overall place for a cannabis-oriented holiday.

Travelers can stay at a 420-friendly accommodation in Denver for under $176 a night on average, the survey found. That compares with an average of $279 in Los Angeles and $270 in Reno.

Pot tourists can buy a quarter (about 14 joints) in Denver for just over $60, the survey found.

Cannabis vacations are noticeably less expensive in Western states like Colorado, California and Washington, which have had legal adult weed use for six to 10 years, than places where pot has been legal for a shorter time.

Upgraded Points’ overall rankings were based on factors that included average cost of airfare, weed-friendly Airbnbs, number of dispensaries, guided cannabis tours, cost of weed-friendly experiences and average cost of a quarter-ounce of weed.

Denver also scored high (No. 3) when it came to medical and recreational dispensaries per capita and had the second most guided cannabis tours of any city. Denver also was in the top 10 for weed-friendly experiences.

Boulder had the second most weed-friendly Airbnbs per capita, as well as the largest number of medical and recreational dispensaries per capita of any city in the study.

You can view results of the study at 

Jeanne Davant is a graduate of the University of North Carolina. She worked for daily newspapers in D.C., North Carolina and Colorado, and has taught journalism and creative writing. She joined the Colorado Publishing House in 2017.