Tarpon Springs hemp house first of its kind in Florida

Owner says home has lots of benefits

Bob Clayton understands why so many people are curious about the house he built not too far from the famous Sponge Docks of Tarpon Springs.
 
It's one of just a few in the entire nation constructed with so-called hempcrete.
 
"The materials are renewable. They are sustainable and recyclable," Clayton said.
 
Because hemp has to be brought in from countries where it's legal to produce, hempcrete isn't exactly cost efficient.
 
Clayton admits the $350,000 price tag is way more than the worth of the house he describes as a prototype.
 
"Well I wanted to do it because it's environmentally good and because it just fascinated me," he said.
 
The house is filled with hemp rugs, pillows and even clothes.
 
Ingrid Setzer with the Hemp Industries Association said it shows what can be done if lawmakers recognize the potential.
 
"I feel that there's support building for it, because if we can grow medical marijuana, why couldn't' we grow industrial hemp?" she said.
 
While pro-hemp, Clayton said he's staying out of the fight to legalize marijuana.
 
"I'm really not interested in marijuana one tiny bit," he said.
 
Clayton said you can't get high from his house. While hemp does come from the cannabis plant, it's produced from the stalks and seeds, with a THC content of 1/60 the legal limit.
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