NBA Hall Of Famer Isiah Thomas Wants To Make Cars With Weed: 5 Things To Know About Hemp Cars

NBA Hall Of Famer Isiah Thomas Wants To Make Cars With Weed: 5 Things To Know About Hemp Cars

Hemp Cars

Left: Henry Ford’s prototype of a hemp car. Right: Isiah Thomas speaks at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 24, 2019. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Entrepreneur and NBA Hall Of Famer Isiah Thomas wants to dominate the cannabis industry as he did the courts. One of the ways he plans to accomplish this is by helping make cars with interiors made of hemp.

Here are five things to know.

1. Isiah Thomas is the CEO of One World Products. It is the largest Black-controlled, fully licensed producer of hemp and cannabis in Columbia.

Formerly called One World Pharma, the company planted its first cannabis crop in 2018, according to a press release. It began harvesting in 2020 and supplies products to global clients.

A subsidiary of ISIAH International, One World rebranded in 2021 to better align with its current offerings.

“This rebranding is more reflective of the multiple industries and markets we are now actively participating in as a supplier of both commercial hemp and cannabis products,” Thomas said. “Our ongoing commitment to ESG standards, and the use of hemp-based products, as an environmentally beneficial alternative, is a critical aspect of our company, and is more aligned with our current approach.”

He also touted the variety of ways hemp is beneficial.

“About the uses of hemp, we are talking about its thousands of applications. It is a big opportunity for us and for the world,” Thomas said. “We believe as the world continues to look at reducing the carbon footprint, the world will come back to a natural place, to the uses of hemp, and what it can do across the board.”

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2. One World is partnering with automaker Stellantis to make weed cars.

In Oct. 2021, Benzinga reported One World was selected for a pilot program by the National Business League (NBL) and automaker Stellantis – which manufactures brands like Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge, Maserati and more.

Through the partnership, One World will “develop and supply hemp-based bioplastic components for cars’ interiors and exteriors,” Forbes reported.

“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,” Thomas said. “When we look at plastic, anything will be made of hemp and we want to be the biggest supplier of that. Not only can you use hemp to build the car, but for fuel, food, and plastics.”

The company announced in May it would dedicate a million acres to hemp production.

3. Thomas said the partnership with Stellantis places him closer to his dream of building cars made from hemp to create a safer environment.

“I envision a future where the Fords, the GMs, the Stellantis’ of the world take plastics out of their automobiles and infuse them with industrial hemp to replace those plastics, thus reducing their carbon footprint,” Thomas said.

4. Hemp cars are not a new idea as Henry Ford released a hemp car prototype in 1941.

The body of Ford’s prototype was primarily made from plant-derived materials like soybeans, wheat, hemp and flax. 

More recently, Bruce Dietzen expanded the idea by investing over $200,000 to build the Renew, a car made of cannabis hemp.

“The ultimate goal is to introduce the world’s first carbon-negative vehicle, and the key to that is going back to what Henry Ford advocated in 1941,” Dietzen told CNBC. “That’s the idea. Make everything you possibly can, including your fuels, out of plant materials.”

5. Isiah Thomas said he chose to headquarter One World’s grow operations in Columbia to help support the Indigenous and Afro-Columbian population.

“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,” Thomas said. “We work with the indigenous farmers, and we work with the soil and the sun. Not only in the CBD space but also in the hemp space.”