Puffing on a marijuana cigarette while, say, cruising along California’s Highway 101 is still illegal, but you can drive a convertible on the road with door panels made partially from hemp, marijuana’s non-psychoactive cousin. The panels, fabricated by Johnston Controls, are part of DaimlerChrysler AG’s 2001 Sebring convertible. “Industrial hemp offers increased strength in a plastic blend, and it has a longer fiber than kenaf, which helps the panel stand up to deep cavities in a mold such as an armrest in a door panel,” said Rob Springer, lead process engineer for Johnston. Since the cultivation of hemp is also illegal in the United States, most of the company’s supply comes from Canada.
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