Cannevi / History

Historical References to Cannabis in Jersey

  1. 1534
    The export of hemp was prohibited under pain of confiscation. [1]
  2. 1682
    Jean Poingdestre recorded the "sowing of hemp and flax for ye making of linnen cloth". [2]
  3. 1691
    A petition was granted by the Privy Council to form a company to manufacture linen and paper in the Island stating that it "would be able to employ a large number of men, women and children and that the soil of the Island was very suitable for sowing and raising hemp". [3]
  4. 1781
    Following the Battle of Jersey, Chaplain James Playfair wrote to his parents about life in Jersey at the time, commenting that: "They have no flax here, but commonly sow a small quantity of hemp to make ropes of." [4]
  5. early 1800s
    "[Thomas Mallet] was a merchant in hemp, an activity doubtless connected with the family rope walks." [5]

    "Ships were built here of the finest wood available, and rigged with the best Russian hemp, and as Great Britain at this time was imposing a high import tariff on these materials, the Jersey-built ships could be sold in England at a lower price than English-built ships on which lesser-grade materials had been used." [6]
  6. 1834
    From 1828-1832, "Of hemp no less than 676 tons have been imported... Of these 179 tons of hemp have been re-exported... leaving an excess of nearly 500 tons of hemp... the large remainder of the excess of hemp... was no doubt used in rigging the shipping of the island, at a cheap rate. Not one pound of British hemp or cordage was imported during the above period." [7]
  7. 1839
    Cannabis grew naturally "in several places between St Helier's and St Aubin's". [8]
  8. 1842
    "The earliest account we have of Jersey manufacture is that of a kind of body coat made of hemp or flax, which were then grown in the Island: these coats were sent to England in large quantities." [9]
  9. 1896
    Cannabis sativa L. was recorded as 'naturalized' in the Island. [10]


  1. [1] "Popular History of Jersey - Chapter 19". Jerripedia.
  2. [2] Poingdestre, Jean. Caesarea or a Discourse of the Island of Jersey, 1682.
  3. [3] "Trade and Smuggling by A.C. Saunders", Tony's Musings, 2015.
  4. [4] Playfair, James. "Letter from James Playfair". Jerripedia.
  5. [5] Stevens, J. and Bisson, P. "Maison du Mont". Société Jersiaise Bulletin, 1969.
  6. [6] Podger, Alec. "Jersey's Shipbuilding Industry". Société Jersiaise Bulletin, 1962.
  7. [7] Inglis, H. D. and Scholefield, M. The Channel Islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, etc. Volume 1. Whittaker, Treacher, Arnot, & Company, 1834, p.220.
  8. [8] Babington, C. C. Primitiæ floræ Sarnicæ; or, An outline of the flora of the Channel Islands, 1839, p.89.
  9. [9] A Guide to the Island of Jersey, describing its history, government, commerce, productions, etc., 1842, p.84.
  10. [10] Piquet, J., "The Phanerogamous Plants and Ferns of Jersey". Societe Jersiaise Bulletin, Volume 3, 1896, p.377.