Out from the shadows, cannabis has gone public. So it’s only appropriate that the 43-year-old cannabis magazine, High Times does so too. Oreva Capital, a private equity firm who announced just last month that it had purchased a controlling stake in High Times to the tune of 70 million, has sold the legendary media brand to the public special purpose acquisition company, Origo Acquisition for $250 million. The move will take High Times public to correspond with the recently expanded legalization of medical and recreational use throughout the U.S.
High Times, past and present
Founded in 1974, the first issue of High Times magazine was released as a Playboy parody; replacing scantily clad ladies with pictures of cannabis buds for laughs.
Though its creator, Tom Forcade committed suicide just four years later, High Times steadily gained notoriety by moving from pot anecdotes to celebrity interviews, essays, the High Times Cannabis Cup events and full-on cannabis advocacy at a time when its legality wasn’t even a consideration.
Now, the company expects to be listed on the NASDAQ by October, which is a grand feat since the NASDAQ and SEC have previously frowned upon the listing of cannabis-based companies. Origo Acquisition stated in their press release on July 27 that it will,
Utilize its public company status, diversified revenue streams, established and trusted brand name, and deep grassroots following to capitalize on the ongoing, orderly conversion of the U.S. marijuana black market to a legal and regulated national industry.
Live long and prosper
The cannabis industry is expected to soar within the next few years; surpassing established industries like manufacturing for instance. As more people begin to use cannabis, brands like High Times may not just be household names within the spectrum of the counterculture, but can soon sit amongst titan genres like health, wellness, fitness and popular culture.
Mainstreaming pot can only serve to boost the growth potential of publications like High Times. Inevitably, the company could face some additional scrutiny by the SEC as they prepare to hit the public sphere. If successful, however, it can lead to greater evolution for the cannabis industry in general.
Matt Rizzetta, CEO of N6A chimed in on the news telling Forbes,
High Times going public marks another major milestone as cannabis brands arrive on the mainstream stage. It is a transformational shift not just for the cannabis media landscape, but for the cannabis economy as a whole, as the demand and appetite for cannabis content has reached critical mass, and investor interest has been piqued like never before.