When Abi Roach first visited Jamaica in 2002 she was inspired by the normalized attitude the people had towards cannabis. There was no stigma towards ganja smokers and it was not frowned upon: you could light up a spliff almost anywhere without anyone batting an eye.
She wanted to bring this attitude back to Canada. She opened the HotBox Café in 2003 creating a safe space for cannabis consumers to congregate and leave the stigma outside. Creating normalization has always been the HotBox goal.
In 2012, Miss Roach decided to bring the HotBox idea back to where it was born, JahMaica. She wanted to show her customers why she fell in love with this magical island. Not the zoo atmosphere the all inclusive resorts offer but a real Jamaica experience.
A chance to meet its amazing people, see all its hidden magical spots, and smoke its amazing native ganja (of course). She started offering tours and renting out rooms at her Bud & Breakfast HotBox Jamaica.
All the rooms are cannabis themed, with names like OG Kush, Northern Lights, and the Sativa Dorms (for travellers on a budget).
In 2015, Jamaica finally made the right decision for the country & its people, by amending the dangerous drugs act and decriminalizing ganja.
The act makes possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana, a petty offense that could result in a roughly $5 ticket but not in an arrest or a criminal record.
Cultivation of five or fewer plants by any household is allowed. And Rastafari adults are now permitted to use marijuana for sacramental purposes for the first time since the homegrown spiritual movement was founded in the 1930s.
The Jamaican government also created the Cannabis Licensing Authority which gives out licenses for everything from production to sale.
The Herb House license which allows you to “sell ganja products for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes, with a space for immediate consumption by consumers” was actually developed after the Hotbox in Toronto.
These progressive changes on a small island nation, make us wonder why the Canadian Government just can’t seem to realize that cannabis legalization does not need to be so complicated.