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