High Times, the nation's premier pot culture publication, has been purchased by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley, a son of Bob Marley, it was announced this week.
The publication moved to Los Angeles from New York earlier this year in order to be in the nation's marijuana capital. Chief revenue officer Matt Stang says High Times will remain in L.A. post-purchase. A group of investors represented by Oreva Capital, which is led by L.A. businessman Adam Levin, made the buy, according to the announcement. Marley and Colorado pot shop chain Denver Relief were a part of the group, the publication stated. The property was valued at $70 million.
"High Times also had me daydreaming of so many beautiful strains that at the time I had not yet had the chance to experience," Marley said in a statement. "It is now an honor to be a part of the High Times legacy that I've been a fan of for so many years."
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The publication appears to have been riding a financial high just as a new green rush is reaching California. In November, state voters approved Proposition 64, which makes it legal for anyone 21 or older to hold up to an ounce of weed. Under the law, recreational retail sales are expected to begin in January. High Times runs popular Cannabis Cup festivals in San Bernardino and elsewhere, has successfully pushed its content widely on the web and last year announced a television, film and products deal with Hollywood's United Talent Agency.
Proposed regulations for medical marijuana, legal in California since 1996, would do away with free pot samples, a staple of festivals like the Cannabis Cup. California NORML state coordinator Dale Gieringer told us last month that the rule would make it difficult for these events to carry on. "I don't know how that's going to work out," he said. But the regulations have yet to be finalized, so it's not clear how High Times might be affected.
The publication claims 236,000 print subscribers and 20 million online readers each month. In a statement investor Levin called High Times "the Coca-Cola of the industry." High Times was launched in a Greenwich Village basement in 1974 by Thomas King Forçade, who reportedly smuggled weed from the Caribbean to help finance the magazine.