We were recently saddened to learn of the passing of a legend of the hemp industry – Frenchy Cannoli. Frenchy was 64 and died unexpectedly due to complications with surgery. He was a man who had an amazing vision of what hemp could be, way back before it had been legalized for medical use in California, let alone for recreational use. He brought a certain French sophistication to hemp and cannabis, setting a high tone that was a very positive influence on the industry. Here, we celebrate Frenchy’s life and take a look at what he did for hemp.
A big name with an unusual story
For all that we see Frenchy as a hero, he was more than just a big deal for hemp growers like us. In fact, he made such a cultural impact that he even had obituaries in The New York Times and The Economist. His unusual name came from the fact that he was French, born in the South of France, and that he rolled hash into the shape of cannoli (he was actually born Didier Camilleri). His vision for hemp was that it could ultimately become a substance that was treated with the same respect as cigars, fine wine and spirits.
His natural, typically French appreciation for high quality, and his understanding of the importance of the little details in life, combined to produce this awesome dream of hemp as a product for connoisseurs.
The part of Frenchy’s outlook that really chimed with us was his recognition of the importance of the conditions under which hemp is grown. He understood that the character and quality of the final product, be it cannabis, hemp flower or CBD oil all came back to the environment in which the hemp itself was cultivated. In wine, you have the concept of “terroir” – the importance of the soil and the land on the flavor and quality. Frenchy knew that this was a concept that could be applied to hemp too. For us, the environment here in California is unbeatable for growing hemp, and it’s this approach, pioneered by Frenchy, that always gives us such confidence in our product.
Holding on to the dream
Remember, though, that it was no easy feat for Frenchy to make his vision a reality, or even for him to hold on to the dream. Don’t forget how recently hemp became legalized in California and how recently attitudes both here, and across the world, have changed. It can take a long time for ideas to change, particularly deep-rooted ideas that are supported by the majority and by the law. Even open-minded individuals will struggle to accept notions that seem radical relative to societal norms. And so it was that for all Frenchy Cannoli had a great vision, it wasn’t until the end of his life that it could truly start to be realized.
We will continue to take inspiration from Frenchy and the great example he set to the industry, and hopefully, one day, hemp will indeed be as highly prized as vintage wine.
To order our 100% natural, organically grown California hemp, contact us at: