Toronto’s historic Hot Box Cafe, which has operated out of Kensington Market for the last 20 years, is changing hands, owner Abi Roach tweeted on Wednesday morning.
Roach has been a tireless advocate for cannabis policy reform for the last two decades. In addition to the Hot Box Cafe, she co-runs a neighbouring hydroponic business, and a bud-and-breakfast tour company in Jamaica.
She is also the executive chair of NORML Canada and the co-director of Sensible Ontario, a campaign from the Ontario Cannabis Consumer & Retail Alliance for cannabis law and policy reform.
Post-legalization, things have not gone as expected for Roach. When the Ontario government decided to switch to a lottery system to award cannabis retail licenses, she lost hundreds of thousands of dollars that had been spent to secure locations, in addition to drawing up security plans, floor plans, and franchise agreements.
“It’s been a failure,” Roach told The Growth Op last month, when asked about the legalization roll-out.