Early globalization travelled in cordages and ships’ sails made with thousands of tons of European hemp. The new American geographies could have served to increment its cultivation, increasing what Pomeranz defines as ghost acreage, to supply the huge demand for European cannabis. The sources for Spanish America show, in fact, a firm will to increase the cultivation of hemp to be used in naval vessels. However, a wide historical record of failures and frustrations seems incompatible with classical explanations such as European mercantilist resistance to the crop’s transfer to the Americas. Therefore, it seems reasonable to turn to other scientific disciplines, including botany and agronomy, in order to reinterpret the scarce introduction of hemp cultivation in South America.