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Toronto’s historic HotBox Cannabis Shop set to close

Sep 28, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

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Two years after being acquired by Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp. (FSHC), Toronto’s historic Hot Box Cafe is closing its doors.

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“Our iconic shop is known for being Toronto’s first consumption lounge, having a wide selection of strains and staff that are passionate about the leaf and so much more. Although we are sad to say goodbye, we are so happy to have been a part of the Kensington Market neighbourhood, the Canadian cannabis culture and so much more,” reads a post on the business’s Facebook page.

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FSHC, which began as a Queen Street West cannabis accessory store in 1994, was later acquired by Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. in Dec. 2020.

That deal brought “the iconic Friendly Stranger, Happy Dayz and Hotbox banners into the Fire & Flower portfolio and provides us with additional tools for growth,” Trevor Fencott, former CEO of Fire & Flower, said at the time. Fencott resigned earlier this year and Stéphane Trudel, senior vice president of operations for Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., was announced as his replacement.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., a Quebec-based convenience store operator, owns about 20 per cent of Fire & Flower’s shares, per Grow Cola

Earlier this month, Fire & Flower reported a net loss of $21.6 million for Q2 fiscal 2022, compared to a net profit of $19.5 million in the prior year period.

BNN Bloomberg reported in 2021 that Ontario began a public consultation process in early 2020 to look at the viability of opening consumption lounges, but no changes had advanced as of last fall.

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