Are ‘Hemp Homes’ the New Granny Pods?

Step aside, “granny pods” — it’s all about “hemp homes” now.

That’s according to Pat Rasmussen, the Washington state resident behind a project aimed at building affordable, tiny homes for seniors using hemp materials and solar panels.

The specific hemp material—hemp hurd—can be mixed with water and lime to make “hempcrete,” which can then be poured to create a wall, Rasmussen wrote in a recent article for Mother Earth News. Hemp hurd is non-toxic, mold-resistant, pest-resistant, breathable, sustainable, fire-resistant and more, Rasmussen added—and the tiny homes made from hemp hurd would be highly affordable, compared to typical rents in Washington state. 


“The energy efficiency of hemp insulation means no heating bills, and solar means no electrical bills,” Rasmussen wrote. “Paying $300 or $400 a month to live in a tiny home in a backyard helps the senior with affordable housing and helps the homeowner pay their mortgage.”

In 2016, Washington passed a law permitting farmers to grow hemp in the state. The first hemp seeds were likely planted there last month, Rasmussen reckons.

In anticipation of the eventual hemp harvest, Rasmussen recently launched a GoFundMe campaign called “Help Seniors Build Tiny Houses” to set her plan in motion.
Despite regulatory issues related to hemp—a cannabis product—the project seems plausible, at least to Rasmussen.

“Using hemp, I can build a warm, efficient, eco-friendly tiny home,” Rasmussen wrote. “We are fostering a new industry for our state.”


Written by Mary Kate Nelson