Since winning two NBA championships as a member of the Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" teams, Isiah Thomas had a post-playing career in management in coaching.
And now, as CEO of One World Products, a Colombia-based hemp growing company, Thomas wants to oversee the growth of a traditional plastics replacement.
"Anything that's made of plastic, if you can think 10, 15 years from now, it will be made of hemp because that's what the environment and the world are calling for," he says in an interview from the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami, posted June 1 on YouTube.
Not only does Thomas think hemp-based materials can replace standard plastics in the auto industry — citing Henry Ford's experiments with hemp and soybean-based plastics in the late 1930s as an example — but also he says hemp can be used in every industry.
"This plant is one-stop shopping for the world right now, for the environment," he said. "When you move to packaging ... and improving your carbon footprint by replacing plastics now with hemp."
One World has a development project with Stellantis, the parent company of the Chrysler and Jeep brands, to develop hemp bioplastics for auto parts. One World currently has 650 farmers in Colombia cultivating a little more than 2,000 acres of hemp, so it probably isn't on a big industrial scale yet.