As the hemp industry continues to grow and evolve, it attracts inquiring minds such as Jacob Waddell, current President of the US Hemp Building Association. With a background in engineering and material science, Mr. Waddell recognized the strain that sourcing traditional building materials had on the environment and saw an opportunity to use his knowledge in the hemp space to create more sustainable materials. Since joining the USHBA in 2020, he has worked to promote hemp as a preferred alternative in construction through advocacy and education initiatives, code standardization, compliance guidelines, and supply chain development for building professionals.
As a proud corporate member, the US Hemp Brokerage continues to support our friends in their efforts to inform and educate others of the virtues of hemp. The USHBA, and its’ sister organization, US Hemp Building Foundation (USHBF), work in tandem to provide resources to hemp and construction industries.
We had a chance to talk to Mr. Waddell about the mission of the USHBA and help spread his message about the future of hemp.
If hemp is the answer, what is the question? “The question would be, ‘what emerging natural product has the potential to make the largest impact on future product development?’
What is your definition of sustainability and how does hemp factor into it? “I think sustainability is re-configuring our thought processes into circular relationships, that comes from everything we own; everything we consume, to how we live; to our goals and aspirations. Hemp is a way to move different industries into a sustainable direction, moving away from current non sustainable practices.”
What are your most important initiatives with USHBA? “The major focus right now is creating codes and standards in order to legitimize our industry and provide quality targets that can be made through supply chain. Also, there is a need to educate stakeholders and the general public on the benefits of building with hemp.”
What challenges do you see with selling hemp building materials of all kinds? “The biggest challenge is education and dealing with misinformation that is currently in the public eye. Hemp is directly analogous to other products on the market (materials that are more readily understood), hempcrete is less comparable and requires proper installation. Establishing codes and practices are key to building the foundation of the group in the industry.”
If you could promote one message, what would it be? “The world is what we make it. If we want to make an impact to improve the outcomes that we will see, we need to work together to make more sustainable practices a reality. Hemp has the ability to do this, and the USHBA and USHBF are working to make that a reality.”
How can others get involved with USHBA? “Become a member and participate in committee meetings. Find out if there is a work group that would fit your skills and interests, and work on a hands-on level to collaborate and move the industry. The USHBA is so grateful to all of its members, especially our corporate members, like the US Hemp Brokerage, that allow us to help move this industry forward.”
To learn more about the USHBA and USHBF and how to get involved, visit them online at USHBA.org.
Stay tuned for future updates from our Leaders in Hemp!