Longtime cannabis publication High Times has acquired print magazine Dope Media in a deal valued at $11.2 million. The deal is a combination of stock and cash. High Times has been building a portfolio of cannabis titles including Green Rush Daily and Culture.
“DOPE is a very strategic acquisition for our portfolio offering key complementary assets to our existing platforms and opening the opportunity for economies of scale to improve the performance of all our entire publication group,” said Adam Levin, CEO of High Times. The statement also noted that Dope holds its largest Dope Cup events in Seattle and Portland and the company sees this as an additive event to the existing Cannabis Cup events where High Times earns a majority of its revenue.
High Times said that there would be no staff changes at this time. DOPE’s CEO, George Jage, founders Dave Tran, James Zachondi, and Evan Carter will all remain. Jage, was once the President of Marijuana Business Daily and the driving force behind Marijuana Business Conference [MJBizCon], has received numerous distinctions for his work including the Nevada Entrepreneur of the Year award from In Business Magazine, Jerry Valen Award of Distinction “Hospitality & Convention Executive of the Year” and most recently was on the cover of Trade Show Executive in May 2017 following receiving the award for the Fastest Growing Tradeshow in the U.S. for two consecutive years.
“This is the perfect marriage of two like-minded businesses. As the largest cannabis consumer media company, High Times offers immense visibility across the country, and globe, like no one else in the space,” said George Jage, CEO of DOPE Magazine. “Utilizing their expertise we will be able to rapidly expand our footprint across the country and offer state-specific advertising solutions at a speed that wouldn’t have been possible before.”
Scott McGovern, the founder of Green Rush Daily was named Executive Vice President at High Times when his company was acquired. However, McGovern is already out of the company and only worked at High Times for about a year. He is now the Co-founder of a blockchain news site call Blockler.
Just a week ago High Times said that it had received subscriptions and funds in excess of $5,000,000 from investors which enabled it to complete the $5 million financial milestone in its proposed maximum $50.0 million Regulation A+ offering of up to 4,545,454 shares of Class A common stock at an offering price of $11.00 per share. High Times also decided to extend its deadline for investing in the company to October 31, 2018.
Levin said the company had received support and purchases from over 6,000 investors. With 6,000 investors only bringing in $5 million, many of these investors must be on the small side. The company did not provide clarification on the average amount invested.
High Times never did close on its deal with Origo Capital. If you’ll recall, Origo Acquisition Corp. (OACQ) filed to change its name to High Times Media on December 29, 2017, and convert from a Cayman Islands company to a Nevada corporation and change its symbol. Origo merged with High Times Holding Corp., the publisher of High Times Magazine in July of 2017. Following the merger, the company has applied to be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol HITM. Its been months since the two companies announced a merger, but it has yet to close. The deal deadline continues to be extended. Levin has said it could still happen.
Leafly Ousts CEO
Separately GeekWire reported that cannabis review website Leafly ousted its CEO Chris Jeffrey, who wasn’t even in the position for a year. Privateer Holdings that owns Leafly issued this statement to Geekwire,
“This morning the Board of Directors of Leafly removed Chris Jeffrey from his role as Chief Executive Officer. The Board made the decision to replace Mr. Jeffrey as CEO after careful consideration due to concerns about his management of the company. The Board has full confidence in Leafly’s senior leadership team and has initiated a search for a new CEO. Out of respect for CJ and the contributions he has made to Leafly, we are not going to go into detail about the circumstances surrounding his departure.
Leafly is experiencing rapid growth with more than 150 employees on the ground in 5 countries and 7 states. The health of Leafly’s business and the strength of the company’s team are stronger than ever before. Leafy has positive momentum and we have never been more excited about the global growth prospects in front of the company.”
Leafly has been receiving a lot of attention as its fellow Privateer company Tilray (TLRY) has taken the cannabis stock market by storm. Cowen & Co. analyst Vivien Azur has said she believes that Tilray’s access to Leafly’s data will help the company stay on top of consumer trends.
Leafly hasn’t been able to deliver as big of a footprint as its competitor WeedMaps, but then Leafly has chosen to not work with unlicensed operators. Jeffery cut back on headcount when he came to the company and boosted engineers to improve the company’s technology.