by Lisa Bowman
Far from its introductory issue of just 10,000 copies, High Times, “the original voice in cannabis” is expanding, and it’s inviting cryptocurrency along for the ride. The New York-based company is offering shares of its stock for just $11 per share, with a minimum investment of $99, as stated on their website as of August 2, 2018.
Living on the Edge with Crypto
High Times CEO Adam Levin stated that, as a publication on the leading edge, the company wants to be on the leading edge of capital raising by accepting both Bitcoin and Ethereum in their IPO. He further stated that while an ICO wasn’t right for the company, it was essential to find a way to include the “emerging investor base” of crypto users.
Accepting crypto was also a way to make it easier for international investors to participate, according to Levin, who also mentioned that the company believes they share similar values to much of the crypto crowd.
The IPO falls under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Regulation A+ rules, which allows High Times Holding Corp (HTHC) to raise up to $50 million. In addition to crypto, investors can also use debit cards, credit cards, wire, or ACH to get their hands on some of the 4,545,454 available shares. The offering will continue until all shares are purchased or until September 12, 2018.
Taking Things Higher
The company began as a cannabis publication when legalization was a just a glimmer in a bloodshot eye. It started in 1974 and grew into a trusted and beloved source of information and entertainment for cannabis users and those interested in alternative culture. High Times has also long been an advocate of legalization.
Beyond its publications, which entered the digital age back in 2008, the company is well-known for its Cannabis Cup events. These events bring together cannabis lovers in the form of growers, vendors, innovators, and connoisseurs. A blend of speakers, celebrities, competitions, and concerts makes these events quite popular. The company states plans to “aggressively expand our footprint domestically across the United States as well as internationally” going forward.
Part of that effort involves their merchandising. From hoodies and shirts to stickers and books like “The Official High Times Pot Smoker’s Handbook and Jorge’s Marijuana Grow Basics,” High Times already has a substantial online store. The next move is to use the reputation they’ve earned to market grow supplies and equipment to companies in states that permit the activity.
Huge Market Opportunity
Support for legalization of the herb has been growing steadily, reaching the current point, at which twenty-nine states in the US have legalized medical use of marijuana and seven others have decriminalized or legalized use. The industry is particularly booming in places like Colorado, which legalized recreational use in 2014. The Denver Post reported revenue of $1.51 billion in sales of cannabis products in 2017.
As HTHC is looking globally, it is notable that Canada recently legalized cannabis and that Australia and South America both have significant markets for marijuana, with major growth predicted.
Though this is not the first time cannabis and crypto have crossed paths, it is noteworthy that this is the first IPO to accommodate Bitcoin and Ethereum.