KEY WEST, Fla. – Lots of drivers are going green these days with the growing popularity of hybrids and electric cars, but this car is greener than any other because it's made of "green."
Bruce Dietzen used to sell computers for a living but he dropped out of the corporate world 16 years ago and moved to Key West.
Soon, Dietzen was revved up and creating a new company, Renew, and a new type of sports car -- the cannabis car. He said he was inspired by Henry Ford, who built a car partially made of hemp in 1941.
Dietzen gets a lot of looks, rolling around town in his custom ride.
"Then, when people ask a few more questions about it and they find out that it's made of cannabis hemp, that really blows their minds," Dietzen said.
Hemp comes from cannabis, the same as marijuana. But it doesn't have THC in it, which is what gets users high.
"Just to give you an example of how strong it is, bam, bam, bam. It's actually 10 times more dent-resistant than steel," Dietzen said.
The cannabis car is built on the chassis of a Mazda Miata.
"We take hemp fabrics, woven hemp fabric and use it just like you would if you're making a boat out of fiberglass cloth or what have you. But instead of fiberglass cloth, we actually used hemp cloth instead," Dietzen said.
The process is labor-intensive. Each part of the "green machine's" body has to be molded by hand. Dietzen gets help from Juan Carlos Mejia. It took them about two months to make the prototype cannabis car. He's also constantly tinkering with the prototype.
"Right now, it's just the body that's made out of hemp, but in the future, we're going to make everything we possibly can from hemp," Dietzen said.
Dietzen said that would reduce the cannabis car's carbon footprint by as much as 23 percent over standard gasoline-burning cars. That's why he is holding onto hemp as a solution for climate change.
"We're not going to escape the issues of climate crisis by hoping that electric cars will address the problem. It's not going to happen," Dietzen said. "We're going to be in a world of hurt unless we do something like this."
Dietzen is taking orders to build more cannabis cars. The standard model starts at $40,000. He is also about to roll out on a nationwide tour, hoping to find financial backers for a docu-series about the history of cannabis in America.
To learn more about the cannabis car or the docu-series, visit renewsportscars.com or hempstersthemovie.com. Tap or click here to visit the Hempsters Cannabis Car Sustainability Tour Facebook page.