The United States largest radio broadcaster is getting into cannabis. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, iHeartMedia Inc. (IHRTQ) has entered into an agreement with High Times Holding Corp. to provide up to $10 million in advertising inventory in exchange for a five percent stake in High Times.
Under the agreement, High Times will have access to iHeartMedia’s creative services, as well as its digital and radio advertising inventory. High Times will use this access to advertise for the company’s Regulation A+ offering. The company is offering up to 4,545,454 shares of Class A common stock with an offering price of $11.00 per share. With a goal of $50 million, High Times so far has raised $12.5 million from more than 9,000 investors.
With approximately 855 radio stations and more than 110 million listeners every week, iHeartMedia is by far one of the largest radio broadcasters in the United States. In 2017, iHeartMedia reported $6.17 billion in revenue; which makes the company’s investment in High Times seem somewhat small in comparison.
However, the deal marks a turning point for both the cannabis industry and High Times. When High Times was first launched in 1974, cannabis was illegal in all 50 U.S. states, and the general public had an overwhelmingly negative opinion of the substance.
More than four decades later, the cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing markets in the United States, with corporate giants like Constellation Beverages and iHeartMedia making significant investments within the industry.
In addition to the Regulation A+ Offering, High Times is expected to list its stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market by the end of October or early November. In preparation for the listing the company’s stock on the Nasdaq, High Times has been on an acquisition spree; including Green Rush Daily and Culture Magazine. Most recently, the company acquired Dope Media for $11.2 million.