Q & A: Abi Roach
Q: Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and Hot Box?
A: I have always been a crazy entrepreneur. Starting my first business at 13. Making and selling jewelry on Toronto’s Queen West.. This is where I learned about cannabis culture and hemp.
I opened Roach-O-Rama in 2000 when I was 19, a little head shop, during a time, when head shops served heavy metal fans, and strippers. Only the Friendly stranger and Toronto Hemp Co. existed for cannabis.
In 2003 we added HOTBOX Cafe, now Canada's longest operating cannabis lounge.
Since HOTBOX has evolved into many things. But the core has always been cannabis experiential retail, marketing and products company.
Q: You have been pioneering through the industry since 2003 and Hot Box has truly become a landmark in the cannabis community. How have things changed post-legalization?
A: My joke is that legalization is literally killing me :)
Pivoting the new landscape has been exciting and challenging all at once. And pivoting is what has allowed me to last this long, in a non existent legal industry, relying on an illegal industry for success.
The problems are not what you would imagine, it is not the big things. It's the very minor changes in Bylaws which have affected us the most.
Q: Your retail expertise within the cannabis space speaks for itself. What advice would you give to new-comers who are trying to get into the cannabis space?
A: My biggest piece of advice is do what you do best!
Be the expert you are, in Cannabis. Cannabis is the product, not the job.
Q: Can you tell our readers a little about Hot Box Jamaica?
A: HOTBOX Jamaica is a beach side bud & breakfast in St Ann, Jamaica.
We have 4 lovely rooms and 2 cottages, your bud & breakfast are included.
We also run Cannabis themed tours.
Q: What do you think the social stigma of cannabis will be in 10 years from now?
A: I believe Cannabis will be just another consumer product, like milk, cheese and wine.
About Abi Roach
Abi is the owner of HotBox Lounge + Shop, HotBox Brands, HotBox Homegrown Hydroponics, Hotbox Jamaica Bud & Breakfast. Publisher of Spliff Magazine & a director of the CFBA (Cannabis Friendly Business Association) She has been in the Cannabis lifestyle & tourism industry for near to 20 years. Abi has dedicated her life to the freedom of cannabis consumers and the normalization and now legalization of cannabis