'High Times' Heads To L.A.

New York City, a place no one has ever described as “laid back,” is about to get even less relaxed.

The departure of pioneering marijuana magazine High Times is leaving the Big Apple for the Big Bud – er, Los Angeles. The cross-country move comes as High Timesfaces subdued competition, or something, from a new generation of niche publications devoted to cannabis.

The pub was founded in 1974 by Thomas King Forçade — allegedly with the profits from his own marijuana-smuggling operation — to advocate for the legalization of marijuana. High Times has long been headquartered in midtown Manhattan, just south of Columbus Circle – an incongruously buttoned-up location even when the city was at the forefront of American drug culture.

It made even less sense to stay in recent years, as New York State now lags behind many other states in de-criminalizing marijuana and allowing its sale for medical use, to say nothing of full legalization.

Thanks to its easy referendum process, California pioneered legal medical marijuana and recently joined Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska in legalizing it for recreational use — with legal recreational sales set to begin January 1.

Los Angeles, already the world capital for legal medical marijuana dispensaries, will doubtless enjoy an even bigger boom with recreational sales, making it a logical destination for cannabis publications of all stripes. Even before the latest referendum, High Times was already setting up shop there, with the opening of a West Coast office in July 2016.

The magazine also got a new boss last year, with the appointment of David Kohl as president and CEO. He succeeded Michael Kennedy, who moved to the position of chairman after leading the business for 41 years.
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