Bob Marley’s son, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, is part of an investment group that purchased a majority stake in High Times. Twenty investors acquired 60-percent interest in the magazine’s parent company, Trans-High Corp. The company will be renamed THC, for High Times Holding Company.
Adam Levin, the new CEO, said, “It’s an exciting day. We have really the largest brand in cannabis, really the trusted brand, that we’ve been able to acquire at a time when obviously legalization trends are burgeoning and the industry as a whole is exploding.”
Oreva Capital says that the company is valued at $70 million, ABC 15 reports. The total investment in High Times was not disclosed. The new owners of High Times firmly believe that the publication and its associated events will maintain their positive reputation.
Gabriel Kahn, an industry expert, said, “The marijuana business is increasingly becoming professionalized and mainstream. That opens up a space for a news outfit to lay claim to being the voice of the industry and establish credibility. Any publication that can pull that off can create a lasting business.”
Ellen Komp of California NORML said, “I respect their reporting. Their editors have been more aggressive about fact-checking than other cannabis publications.”
High Times reports retaining loyal subscribership of 200,000. They say they have millions of online followers. The Cannabis Cup events are the biggest source of income for High Times. They started in 1988, and now host over 10 events annually.
High Times was founded by Tom Forcade in 1974. He used money from selling drugs to fund the startup. High Times was often sold in the same packaging as pornography magazines in that time period.
Levin said, “It was much more of a crazy, burgeoning pot smuggler magazine when it originated.” But now High Times is “the Wine Aficionado of the cannabis industry.”