Retired NBA star Isiah Thomas is leading a company that’s developing plastics from hemp. Some day, he believes those same plastics will be used to build hemp-based cars.
As reported by Forbes, Thomas is currently the CEO of One World Products, a Black-owned Colombian hemp and weed company.
“Think of us as the raw material supplier of hemp and cannabis to the industry. We cultivate and we grow in Colombia because of the equatorial advantages that it gives us, we work with the indigenous farmers, and we work with the soil and the sun,” Thomas told Forbes.
He continued, “We work closely with the auto industry to reduce its carbon footprint by replacing some of their plastics with hemp, we work in the construction space as well. When we look at plastic, anything will be made of hemp and we wanna be the biggest supplier of that. Not only can you use hemp to build the car, but for fuel, food, and plastics.”
About 80 years ago, Henry Ford unveiled the world’s first hemp-based car, using biomaterials from hemp, soybean, and flax to build the car’s parts. The car’s engine, designed by the same guy who invented the diesel system, could run on hemp oil.
Right now, Thomas and One World Products are already supplying hemp-based plastics to big auto players such as Stellantis, which owns Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, and Citroën.
Hemp, the type of cannabis that doesn’t get anyone stoned, can be used for making a variety of products, including clothing, medicines, and biodegradable materials.