It is with great sadness that we come to commemorate the life of a true icon in the cannabis world following his sudden passing. Frenchy Cannoli became synonymous with some of the finest hashmaking techniques anywhere on the planet, while his role as a mentor and friend to the next generation of hashishins meant that his knowledge was passed down to others. When you consider how many people are driven by ‘the love of the plant’, it’s rare to find someone as genuinely passionate and knowledgeable as Frenchy. It was this love and thirst for knowledge that took him across the world on his early adventures before making a name for himself in America and beyond.
In a statement from his beloved wife, Kimberly, she spoke of how Frenchy had always been conscious of the fact that there were three key stages in his life: the 18 years after he left his home in the South of France and wandered the world experiencing a wide range of cultural and spiritual experiences; the two decades where he focused on being a father; the latter stage where he became more focused on sharing his knowledge with others in the form of a teacher when he came to America at the start of this millennium. It was this later evolution that surprised him most and brought him so much joy in the last two decades.
Frenchy was a force of nature, a spritely fellow who would bounce into a room and light it up with his warm personality and ability to connect with people. He was a charming and charismatic person, who genuinely cared about you, but he was also feisty when he was on a topic, he felt passionate about and disagreed with another perspective. He loved to share his understanding with others and he was fascinated not only by the plant itself, but also how it was effected by the ‘terroir’ of the soil in which it was grown. He had so many stories to tell, and when he talked about something passionately he would enthusiastically flick his hand, saying “Ou, la, la!” with a big grin on his face.
Frenchy starting writing for Weed World in March 2014 (published April) – issue 109 “From Mendo with love” – through to Nov 2019 (published Dec) issue 142 “The Lost Art of the Hashishin”. It was at this point where he decided that he wanted to move away from contributing articles so that he could concentrate his efforts into writing a book of his own. When we spoke about him moving away from writing for the magazine he told us:“I had never written before working with you guys, it has been a birth and growth that we have shared. Thank you for the experience, freedom of expression and support.” It was a true pleasure to work with him over the years and our deepest condolences go out to his family, his friends and those who worked alongside him.
As Frenchy said for himself, he hadn’t written before but he was a natural at it and thoroughly enjoyed it. His wife, Kimberly, would proof his work and keep him from going off topic when he got drawn off on a tangent (which could happen quite often, especially in person). He truly appreciated the history and culture of cannabis and he became ever increasingly fascinated by the science of cannabinoid/terpene profiles and how they could be better manipulated through processing in order to produce ever better quality hash; he liked to understand the inner workings at molecular level and the interactions of how they worked together, he always had lots of questions about the plant. The further he would get into a particular aspect the more excited he got. It seemed like his thirst for knowledge was never-ending, as there was always a new theory on the horizon and he never knew what opportunities each new strain would offer.
Frenchy was a believer in regional growing certifications for cannabis productions, he always related the Cannabis industry to the wine “Terroir & appellation d’origine, pathway to quality as defined by the French wine industry. In his eyes, the sheer quality of some areas, especially in the Emerald Triangle that deserved to be recognized as they made such a difference to the quality of what people were growing (especially when combined with so many years of experience). You could always tell where Frenchy had been, as people would be talking about terroir & appellation. He was an explorer at heart and from his early days he was driven by a wanderlust that took him on some incredibly epic journeys across the world.
Frenchy was an incredible teacher who loved to teach others so that they could gain a deeper understanding of a wide variety of techniques. Belle (@cherryblossom_belle) was his prodigy, apprentice and heir, Frenchy taught her everything he knew about creating hash, as he recognized a passion in her. They were inseparable, it was really sweet to watch her soak up every lesson from him whenever they had the opportunity to further her knowledge. Frenchy loved the one-to-one sessions, but he still felt he could go further. After much consideration, he chose to follow an open source approach and promoted traditional methods through his “Lost Art of the Hashishin” workshops. These hands-on training workshops passed down everything he had learnt to aspiring concentrate makers in a warm, friendly and focused environment. This was a phenomenal success, as his workshops were always packed and fun and his passing will leave a big hole in the hearts of the many people who had the pleasure of working alongside him or learning invaluable first-hand knowledge during one of his many seminars and workshops.
I met Frenchy a few times, but I guess the most memorable was in October 2016. Phil Kilv the founder/owner of Weed World and I spent several days with him and Belle travelling up the North Coast of California from San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Rosa, Ukiah, Mendocino, Laytonville to Garberville. Meeting some fantastic people in the cannabis industry and seeing their grows. During that time, I wanted to see the giant redwoods so he took me to walk through them. I also slipped a disc in my lower back from the roads being so rough – the pain was immense, and the chiropractor made it worse, so Frenchy gave me some hash. He was so scared that he was going to get me too stoned, but it certainly helped with the pain.
His birthday was a day after mine, and I always felt connected to Frenchy. You knew you could ask him to do anything for you and he would just do it. My early days as an editor crossed over with his as a writer, so we grew together and for that I am truly thankful. I will miss him: he had a beautiful soul, he was a wonderful husband to Kimberly and a fantastic dad. He certainly left a mark on everyone he met and I feel blessed to have known him.
Good-bye my friend, you will be missed.
If you wish to read all of his articles they can be found here – frenchycannoli.com/articles
Also you can find them here
Image credit: Featured image Jake Remington, Sly Vegas & Weed World