The federal government’s stance on legal medical and recreational marijuana under Attorney General Jeff Sessions is still unknown. But a number of investors are betting on continued progress toward liberalization in the long run – and buying the magazine that got the whole thing started in the first place.
A group of buyers, including Oreva Capital, is purchasing High Times magazine, the iconic literary symbol of the marijuana counter-culture founded in 1974, the title’s publishers announced Thursday.
Precise terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the acquisition values the magazine and its related assets at $70 million, according to the companies.
Oreva raised funds for the acquisition from a group of 20 investors, including some with extensive background in the growing medical and recreational marijuana industry.
One investor, Damian Marley, the youngest son of reggae musician and marijuana evangelist Bob Marley, is a longtime fan of the magazine, while other investors include the owners of some leading Colorado recreational pot shops.
The monthly magazine, with a circulation of 236,000 subscribers and a digital audience of 20 million unique visitors per month, will continue to operate from its new headquarters in Los Angeles under the new owners as High Times Holding Company. (Oreva is also based in LA.)
The new owners hope to extend the magazine’s reach and visibility both online and in print, as well as tap into new revenue streams through its successful licensing and events business, including the pioneering Cannabis Cup.
In that vein, the new owners are eyeing new Business Summits, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, catering to the burgeoning cultivation and dispensary industries. Overall events contribute three-quarters of High Times’ revenues.
High Times moved to Los Angeles after abandoning its longtime headquarters in New York City in January. The magazine has also had some rocky leadership developments, including a wrongful termination suit from Dave Kohl, who served as the publisher’s CEO for around a year before being fired, allegedly for demanding a more “professional” environment at the magazine’s offices.