Cannabis dispensary glut claims Kensington pioneer HotBox – Toronto Star

Toronto’s pot shop scene just got a little less crowded.

The HotBox Cannabis Shop and Lounge, a Kensington market staple since opening in 2003, announced this week that it’s shutting down, amidst an industry-wide consolidation.

“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 much more,” the post on HotBox’s Facebook page said.

The closure of pre-legalization landmark HotBox, along with a recent insolvency filing by Superette, is part of an inevitable, overdue shrinkage of a crowded cannabis retail industry, said analyst Chris Damas.

“There are too many stores right now, and it’s survival of the fittest,” said Damas, president of BCMI research.

Damas estimated that Ontario could support roughly 1,200 cannabis retail outlets. Currently, there are more than 1,700 licensed to operate, with the vast majority of them already open.

“There will be a lot more closures to come. What’s happening right now is a completely predictable result of the way Health Canada and the Ontario government decided to set the industry up,” said Damas.

HotBox started out as a head shop, but also added a “consumption lounge,” where Torontonians could smoke their favourite strains of weed

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