The move will make then one of Ontario’s biggest cannabis retailer under three brand names—Friendly Stranger, Hotbox Shop, and Happy Dayz

The acquisition of Toronto’s longstanding cannabis outlet Hotbox by another mainstay The Friendly Stranger was the big news earlier this year. Twitter was abuzz when Abi Roach, founder of Kensington Market-based HotBox Lounge & Shop, stepped down from her ownership role.

Now, almost seven months after the announcement, the Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp (FSHC) has more exciting news for cannabis enthusiasts of Ontario. The Company has announced that they are working on opening 15 licensed cannabis retail stores by the end of 2020.

“FSHC was formed in December of 2018 when we brought together Friendly Stranger Cannabis Culture shop and Happy Dayz. Our goal then was to convert many of the existing stores into full-service locations, along with opening new ones, to offer a great selection of accessories as well as Cannabis,” says James Jesty, President of Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp, about the growth of the company. 

The new outlets will open under three brands namely Friendly Stranger, Hotbox Shop and Happy Dayz, and will make FSHC one of the largest cannabis retailers in Ontario. Among the first of the announced locations include Happy Dayz in Barrie and Peterborough and Hotbox at 206 Augusta Avenue in Toronto.

“We are in the process of opening stores in Oshawa (Happy Dayz) and stores under the Friendly Stranger brand in Orillia, Midland, Toronto Danforth, Hamilton and more. We are opening both Happy Dayz and Friendly Stranger stores with a Hotbox expansion plan in the early stages,” informs James, giving a peek into the locations on the blueprint.

A hotspot for celebrating everything Cannabis, the Hotbox outlet at Toronto’s Kensington Market has also reopened under the new management. “We have designated one part of the store for cannabis retail, and opened up the accessory/lounge section ahead of the Labour Day weekend. It will have many of the touchpoints of the original location and will continue to offer a great selection of products. The lounge will be a space for people to hang out and a spot to hold events,” says James.

Although now working for Ontario Cannabis Store, Abi Roach is excited about the store’s new avatar. ”I am no longer a part of the Hotbox, but will always be the founder. I chose Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp. to continue my legacy, as I knew that they would stay true to the original values and the community that the Hotbox brand represents and serves,” Abi says, “I am over the moon to be a customer, purchasing legal cannabis from the company I spent twenty years building.”