High Times Sold to Industry Investor Group

Faith Castro
June 2, 2017

While cannabis is medicinally legal in more than half of the states in America and recreationally legal in eight states, High Times launched when marijuana was viewed akin to heroin. "Gong" Marley, the son of reggae legend, Robert Nesta Marley, is reportedly 1 of 20 new investors in the ownership group Oreva Capital who bought the 43-year-old cannabis magazine for $70 million.

He said that part of his interest in High Times is his own experience with it.

"High Times also had me daydreaming of so many lovely strains that at the time I had not yet had the chance to experience", Marley said in a statement. "I learned to differentiate male from the female plant by reading High Times Magazine".

THC (the acronym is the same as that of marijuana's key ingredient) will be renamed High Times Holding Co. A High Times Cannabis Cup will be held in Santa Rosa this weekend.

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High Times was founded in 1974 in New York City as an alternative magazine devoted to cannabis.

"It's an exciting day", said Adam Levin, the company's new CEO. But though the magazine is quite well known, like many magazine companies, it is events, such as The Cannabis Cup, that have driven much of its revenue.

Levin has a background buying what he says are "undervalued" media companies through his firm, Vert Capital. The past year has been a tougher go on the Cup circuit, though, as officials in Colorado shut down the massive Denver Cannabis Cup, and Cup events this year in Nevada and Southern California have been forced to go officially "cannabis-free".

Yet as the longest-running and most recognizable brand in pot, rivaled only perhaps by Snoop Dogg himself, High Times online sees a flood of 20 million unique visitors per month beyond its 236,000 print subscribers. In the early years High Times was often sold in the same plastic bags newsstands used to shield the covers of porn magazines. The new ownership group also includes cannabis-related organizations stretching across the U.S. In a statement circulated to High Times employees, Levin described the new owners' vision for HTHC.

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