High Times Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 23, 2020
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Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTCQX: HRVSF) said that it has completed the initial closing of certain retail properties in California to Hightimes Holding Corp. as previously announced on April 28, 2020, and June 12, 2020. The deal was recently amended from the original 13 operational and pending properties to ten. Those terms have now been reduced to a deal now valued at $67.5 million. The terms are now $1.5 million in cash and a $4.5 million one-year promissory note with 10% interest and $61.5 million in Series A Preferred stock issued by Hightimes Holding Corp.

$4.5 million was due at the initial closing according to the SEC filing. The second closing, though is subject to various closing conditions and contingencies including third party and regulatory approvals. Harvest and its affiliates said they plan to sell additional equity and assets with respect to two planned dispensaries in California for a total consideration of $6 million in Series A Preferred Stock issued by Hightimes.

One of those third parties, Alexis Bronson says he hasn’t heard from High Times Chairman Adam Levine since the deal was originally announced. The property that he has gotten his license for is on Geary Street in San Francisco next to a Chanel boutique. The rent for the high-end location is an eye-popping $2.1 million a year. Bronson said that another cannabis MSO (multi-state operator) expressed interest in the location until seeing the rent and then backed out saying it was too rich.

High Times is well aware of the challenge it faces in trying to convince Bronson to come on board. In the purchase agreement, High Times acknowledged that “Harvest Health is currently engaged in litigation in the State of Washington with Kunkel which may affect the ability of Seller to obtain the Third-Party Approvals.” Ryan Kunkel is Bronson’s former business partner. He sold his half of the property without Bronson’s approval to Harvest Health, who in turn sold it to High Times. Several of the other Have A Heart dispensary properties have third parties in addition to Kunkel and there is no indication from these parties as to whether they are on board with High Times or not.

Original Terms

In the original purchase agreement, High Times was supposed to pay at the closing (a) USD$12,500,000 in cash inclusive of the Contract Deposits and (b) 675,000 shares of Hightimes’ 16% Series A voting convertible preferred stock. The Series A Preferred Stock has a value of $100.00 per share or $67.5 million. Other shareholders might not know that the Series A Preferred Stock has a priority on liquidation or a change of control of Hightimes over any
other series of preferred stock created by Hightimes or its Common Stock. Beginning in September 2020, the Preferred Series A was to begin the 16% payments. High Times paid $1 million in the initial deposit and owed $4 million 45 days from the effective date.

Publisher Woes

High Times has not reported any financial information on the company since June 2019. Due to the pandemic, all in-person events have been canceled. This was the main revenue producer for the company. The publisher also hasn’t printed a Dope or Culture magazine in months and this also accounted for a respectable source of advertising income. The flagship publication High Times is up-to-date online with its stories, but the last print edition looks to be April 2020. The company laid off writers and said that the loss of walk-in traffic to dispensaries caused it to suspend printed editions for now. Print magazines in general have struggled as the costs outweigh the consumers buying magazines.

The company has also experienced a revolving door of executives in the C-Suite with former Green Growth Brands CEO Peter Horvath becoming the latest to take on the role. His retail experience is seen as a strong point as the company pivots from publishing to retail.

Harvest Health Keeps Four

Harvest will retain four operating dispensaries located in Grover BeachNapaPalm Springs, and Venice and select licenses for potential retail locations in California following completion of this planned divestment.

 


AxisWireAxisWireMay 15, 2020
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New York City – May 15, 2020 /AxisWire/ AxisWire, the first newswire distribution service and digital PR tech-suite dedicated solely to the cannabis industry, and Green Market Report (GMR), the cannabis industry’s source for credible in-depth financial reporting, have announced The State of Cannabis Media 2020 virtual conference. The event will take place online Tuesday, May 19th at 1 pm EST. 

Tickets are limited, but the event will be live-streamed on GMR social media and will also be shared on the GMR news site following the event.

This free virtual conference will be open to the public and will address the current state of affairs for companies who would like to understand how to utilize digital communications, PR, and media to advance their messages in a time when no events can support or promote cannabis brands. 

“Events were the main source of exposure for cannabis brands as advertising remains largely off-limits to our industry,” explained AxisWire & Green Market Report co-founder Cynthia Salarizadeh. “When this pandemic took over, it left our industry and most cannabis brands who do not have the support of a public relations firm without many options. We felt the best way for us to provide some guidance was to create a free virtual event where brands can hear directly from journalists and PR professionals about how to navigate during these times.”

The panelists include the top cannabis journalists from Business Insider, Adweek, Forbes, Benzinga, Marijuana Business Daily, High Times, El Planteo, and the author of The New Chardonnay as well as the CEO’s and Managing Partners of Mattio Communications, GVM Communications and KCSA Strategic Communications. 

1:00-1:05 Introduction

1:05-1:10 State of Journalism 

1:10-1:25 State of Public Relations for Cannabis 

1:25-1:35 Suggested Avenues for Brands on a Budget 

1:35-1:50 Story Focus During A Pandemic 

1:50-1:55 Prioritizing Cannabis Stories 

1:55-2:00 Closing Remarks

“Online screen time has increased as many of us are in various states of lockdown, which has increased the demand for content. Unfortunately, media companies have been forced to scale back as a result of the pandemic creating huge disruption in the supply and demand for news,” said Green Market Report CEO and Co-founder Debra Borchardt. “We believed that an event like this was needed as we all pivot and adapt to a new normal in the cannabis industry. We are stronger together.” 

About AxisWire:

AxisWire, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the industry’s first tech platform designed for cannabis entrepreneurs to expose their brands and cannabis journalists to seek out breaking stories. The platform provides a newswire distribution and PR tech suite of services including press release distribution, press release writing, consulting and compliance services. AxisWire also features the STAR Source Locator specific to the cannabis industry to assist in facilitating story development between journalists and brands. For more information, please visit axiswire.com. Follow us on social media @AxisWire.

About Green Market Report:

The Green Market Report (GMR) is headquartered in the Financial District of New York City with an office in Los Angeles. GMR is poised to be the center for trustworthy business, financial and economic news and intelligence. The site offers coverage on financial matters including news briefs on business, cultivation, and extraction, cannabis company stock prices, and wholesale cannabis pricing. For more information, please visit www.greenmarketreport.com or email info@greenmarketreport.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @GreenMarketRpt.

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMay 6, 2020
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CEO Stormy Simon is out at Hightimes Holding Corp. after just four months. Former Green Growth Brands (OTC: GGBXF) Peter Horvath is in. This is the third CEO for the iconic publisher High Times in just 13 months as the company pivots away from events and news and instead heads towards the dispensary side of the industry.

“We are pleased to welcome Peter to the High Times family, and to be able to tap into his wealth of experience capitalizing on major consumer brands. There are few executives with his retail experience in the mainstream world and, up to this point, none in the cannabis world with such an accomplished background,” Hightimes Holding Corp. Executive Chairman Adam Levin said. “The team and I would like to thank Stormy for all of her hard work in getting us through this transition period, and we are excited to have her continue working with us on this mission to grow High Times into all the business areas it helped create.”

Horvath’s Track Record

The High Times press release notes that Horvath previously held leadership roles for companies such as L Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, etc. ), American Eagle Outfitters (American Eagle & Aerie), and DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) and that he was with DSW when it went public on the NYSE in 2005. It also mentioned that he formed Green Growth Brands and took it public on the CSE in November 2018. It even touts his launch of Seventh Sense CBD. What it doesn’t mention is that Horvath was forced to resign recently and left without his million-dollar severance package after the company burned millions of dollars on Seventh Sense. The chain was closed in March and attempted to not pay the laid-off employees their back pay until Green Market Report exposed the story. 

“High Times is a unique brand with an important and rich heritage that deserves amplification and broader reach,” stated incoming Chief Executive Officer Peter Horvath. “I think of brands like Glossier, who first earned high affinity followers through compelling and relevant content, and then demonstrated that you can also serve their followers through commerce.  So, it’s been done before, I wouldn’t suggest that it will be easy, but we have all the resources to succeed.”

Victoria’s Secret is also about to go under. The once-thriving leader in women’s lingerie miscalculated its customer base’s move away from the over-sexualization of women. As women were moving away from body shaming and embracing all shapes and sizes, Victoria’s Secret was slow to recognize the seismic shift, and competitors began to take market share. The company recently tried to sell itself to a private equity firm, but the sale has fallen through. With retail in a tailspin due to the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s future is unclear.

CEO Revolving Door

It’s highly unusual for companies planning to go public to have a revolving door of CEO’s. A potential publicly-traded company typically wants to project an image of stability in order to show shareholders that their investment is in good hands. The Horvath hire is meant to align with High Times’ recent acquisition of pending and operational licenses from  Harvest Health & Recreation (OTC:HARV). His retail background seems more suitable to chairman Adam Levine’s vision for High Times dispensaries versus the previous CEO Stormy Simon.

Simon was just hired in January with her previous experience at e-commerce brand Overstock.com as the reason she moved from her position as a board member to the role of CEO. At the time of her hire, High Times said it was creating a virtual distribution business alongside its physical businesses of dispensaries and consumption cafes. The company signaled that Simon wasn’t necessarily in charge as the recent announcement with Harvest Health did not include her whatsoever. It’s highly unusual for a company CEO to not be quoted in an acquisition press release or be included in the purchase documentation. Her absence sent red flags that something was underway. It’s unclear whether Simon remains on the board. She is currently running for state representative in Utah.

Levine stepped down from the CEO role when Kraig Fox stepped in to lead the company through its efforts to go public and shift towards a plant-touching business. Fox was hired in April 2019 and left nine months later.  Fox’s background as a Senior Managing Director of Guggenheim Partners where he focused on Guggenheim’s overall strategy in the media and entertainment spaces as well as the management of its media and entertainment investments was seen as an asset.

Fox continues to receive his director and officer insurance policy, and High Times agreed to reimburse Fox for certain previously incurred business expenses (within five days) of successful completion of sales of an additional $5 million of equity securities or $10 million of proceeds from the sale of debt securities. He is expected to be reimbursed $125,000 with respect to expenses and lease payments for which Fox provided the company with receipts.

Harvest Health Deal

High Times did acknowledge that its deal to acquire the licenses from Harvest Health was subject to certain closing conditions, including the receipt of certain regulatory and third-party consents. The parties are aiming to close the acquisitions no later than June 30, 2020, subject to the parties’ mutual agreement to extend the closing date.

There is a major problem with one of the Have A Heart dispensaries that High Times is buying from Harvest Health. One license belongs to the HAH San Francisco location in which CEO Alexis Bronson says Harvest Health had no right to sell. Bronson owns 40% of the HAH dispensary and he claims his business partners sold their shares to Interurban Capital Group (ICG) without his approval. The dispensary was then flipped to Harvest Health & Recreation, who just sold it to HHI Acquisition Corp, a subsidiary of Hightimes Holding Corp.

The High Times Purchase Agreement acknowledges the Bronson position in HAH. The document states, “Neither ICG nor Harvest holds any rights to acquire the 40% interest held by Bronson. Assignment of Contingent Assignment requires the consent of the Board of Managers of HAH 2 CA LLC.” High Times was to deliver $1 million to Harvest Health on April 27 as a deposit and then another $4 million at the closing date or within 45 days of the effective date. High Times did not respond to a request to comment on the Bronson situation. Harvest is also suing ICG which adds even more complications to this deal.

The issue with this one particular license may not hold up the whole deal and if High Times can close at least some of the operational licenses then revenue can begin flowing into the company.

Delayed Reporting

High Times announced that it will delay delivering its annual report as per the SEC’s order which allows for this due to the COVID-19 virus.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 28, 2020
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High Times Holding Company has announced that it is buying 13 planned and operational California dispensaries from Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTCQX: HRVSF) in what the company described as a “mostly stock deal” and is valued at $80 million. Hightimes said it intends to fully transform the cannabis retail stores to become High Times destinations. Hightimes Holdings plans to revamp the existing design and rebrand each dispensary to fit the High Times.

This follows High Times’ previous announcement to buy two dispensaries, one in Los Angeles and one in Las Vegas. However, neither of those announced acquisitions has closed just yet.

According to the statement, the Harvest Health parties are aiming to close the acquisitions no later than June 30, 2020, subject to the parties’ mutual agreement to extend the closing date. “This transaction allows Harvest to invest in one of the most iconic brands in the industry,” said Steve White, Harvest’s Chief Executive Officer. “As one of the pioneers of the regulated cannabis ecosystem, we have always admired the work of High Times and are excited to watch the High Times brand flourish, as they poise themselves to enter the cannabis distribution and retail spaces.”

Harvest Health Reshuffling

Harvest Health has been frantically reshuffling its strategy as the company called off its enormous Verano acquisition last month. That deal was originally valued at over $800 million. At the time White said, “We remain focused on the continued development of assets in our core markets including ArizonaFloridaMaryland, and Pennsylvania. Recent capital raising efforts have afforded the company sufficient resources to continue to invest in strategic projects while moving toward profitability.”

Harvest Health had started 2020 with breakup news from Falcon International. In January Harvest filed suit against Falcon International, Inc. asking to terminate the planned merger agreement and return the money Harvest paid to Falcon under the Merger Agreement. Falcon has said that Harvest owes the company $50 million in a breakup fee.

Just a few weeks ago Harvest announced that it would acquire Interurban Capital Group for approximately $85.8 million payable to acquire controlling interests in five Washington cannabis dispensaries or alternatively $12.4 million to acquire substantially all of the assets of these dispensaries. ICG’s assets include direct and indirect licenses and rights to acquire entities with licenses in CaliforniaIowa, and Washington. In addition, ICG is a service provider to these entities.

High Times Unfinished Business

High Times forges ahead despite turbulent times in the market. The decision to acquire the dispensaries also comes on the heels of yet another push to raise money from investors. In the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, High Times was flooding email inboxes with almost daily requests to invest in the company. So, perhaps the company raised enough money to make this latest deal? The opportunity to invest has been extended again – this time to May 15, 2020. This latest press release also suggests interested investors call the company’s hotline. The minimum investment was bumped up from $99 to $220.

“We’ve long supported Harvest and the other cannabis-retail-trailblazers as they pushed forward despite changing legislation, insurmountable licensing fees, political stigma and, frankly, through a process that was designed to be difficult,” said Adam Levin, Hightimes Holding Corp.’s Executive Chairman. “We have enormous respect for the Harvest brand and look forward to ushering in the next generation of retail experience with Harvest as a significant shareholder in our company.”

This latest deal comes right after High Times said it had begun the process to acquire California-based cannabis holding company Humboldt Heritage Inc. and its subsidiaries Humboldt Sun Growers Guild and Grateful Eight LLC.

Hightimes Holding Corp. said it had inked a letter of intent to acquire Humboldt, which will give it “cannabis growing, processing and product manufacturing capabilities direct from the most coveted cannabis community in the world, Humboldt County.” The value of that was also not disclosed.

High Times Debt

High Times has total liabilities of $68 million according to the company’s latest filing. For the last six months ending in 2019, High Times brought in $10 million in revenue, but its operating expenses were $14 million. The bulk of that revenue came from events that accounted for $6.7 million. With the pandemic lockdown putting an end to events that revenue stream is all but gone for now. The company reported a net loss of $11 million for those six months.

“As of June 30, 2019, these outstanding debt obligations totaled $49,514, of which $1,490 is now in default and due on demand. However, of the $49,514 in debt obligations, upon consummation of our trading on the OTCQX or listing on another national securities exchange, more than $33,000 of the Company’s debt will be eligible for conversion into Class A Common Stock as follows: $15,362 of the above outstanding indebtedness will automatically convert into shares of our Class A Common Stock at $11.00 per share and up to $18,000 of such outstanding indebtedness is convertible, at the option of the holder, into shares of our Class A Common Stock pursuant to their respective agreements.”

More Shares Issued

Despite pricing the shares at $11 each and currently have roughly 24 million shares outstanding, on April 3, 2020, Hightimes Holding decided to do an 11-for-1 forward split of all shares of its outstanding Class A Common Stock effective on June 1, 2020, and (b) amend and restate the Company’s certificate of incorporation, effective as of June 1, 2020, to increase the number of shares of the Company’s authorized Class A Common Stock from 100,000,000 shares to 1,000,000,000 shares of Class A Common Stock.

24 million shares priced at $11 a share places the company’s market cap at $264 million.

Pivoting In A New Climate

Certainly, it makes sense in this COVID-19 climate to shift away from what had been a lucrative event space. The Cannabis Cup in Michigan last year by all accounts was a successful event in which thousands attended. However, it is unclear when events will be returning. The company’s other revenue stream of magazine advertising had also been lucrative, but the company has temporarily closed its Dope and Culture magazines due to Covid-19 issues and broken supply chains. The company plans on re-opening the magazines once the isolation and quarantine period has completely subsided.

Dispensaries have been the winners of the pandemic crisis, so if High Times can make that jump quickly, it could save the company.


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueJanuary 30, 2020
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It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for January 30th, 2020.

On the Site

CLS Nevada Projects 2020 Revenue Of $17 Million

CLS Holdings USA, Inc (OTCQB: CLSH)(CSE: CLSH) released its 2019 calendar year-end statement for CLS Nevada, not long after the company reported its quarterly earnings on January 14. The company said in a statement that it was “forecasting CLS Nevada 2020 revenue of $17 million and positive EBITDA of $4 million.” The company will need to hustle if it wants to hit that $17 million goal. CLS said that it plans to increase sales by 100% at City Trees by eliminating low return on investment SKUs, re-branding and increasing visibility through better marketing channels. That includes expanding the  Oasis Cannabis parking lot and vault to allow it to efficiently serve 1250 customers a day. The company also wants to create new revenue streams by offering advertising opportunities to brands and partners.

High Times Tells Shareholders It Needs More Capital

It’s been a tumultuous two months for venerable cannabis publisher High Times following an equally bumpy road to going public. On Wednesday, Chairman Adam Levine sent a letter to shareholders of the private company stating that it would once again extend its fundraising campaign and abandon its efforts to list on the NASDAQ Marketsite Exchange (NASDAQ: NDAQ).

The latest extended offering will terminate on the first to occur of either the date on which all 4,545,454 shares are sold or March 31, 2020. These shares though are priced back at $11 with the goal of raising another $5 million. According to the most recent corporate presentation, High Times had 32,460, 313 issued shares and if all were valued at $11, that is a $357 million market cap. The company’s current total liabilities are $68 million.

The First Historically Black College Is Launching A CBD Line

The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, along with its partner Ilera Holistic Healthcare is launching a CBD product line called ALAFIA. Southern is the first HBCU (Historically Black College University) to start its own CBD product line that is available for sale at dispensaries and other retail locations.

“Southern has been a leader in agriculture and the sciences for 140 years while staying true to its mission of access,” said Ray Belton, the president of the Southern University System. “This CBD venture with Ilera encompasses all of that.”

Hemp Glut Causing Prices To Drop, Unsold Harvests

Hemp Benchmarks report for January was published on Wednesday at the Hemp Benchmarks website. Founder Jonathan Rubin noted that wholesale hemp markets continue to face significant challenges, including oversupply and declining prices.

The report stated, “We have in previous reports emphasized the current glut of biomass on the market, which has led to farmers being unable to move their harvests. Such market conditions continued in January, with numerous members of our Price Contributor Network reporting that relatively little buying and selling of biomass was taking place. Transactions that were reported showed high-CBD biomass prices continuing to sink, with the assessed rate for transactions of over 1 million pounds down 53% from last month.

In Other News

Two Kentucky Hemp Companies Facing Bankruptcy 

Two companies are facing financial trouble as GenCanna has had three separate creditors try and force the company to declare bankruptcy. The three creditors are owed $50,000 collectively. Separately, Sunstrand owner William “Trey” Riddle filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a Louisville court. 

A creditors’ meeting is scheduled for February 6th in Louisville, KY. 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 30, 2020
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It’s been a tumultuous two months for venerable cannabis publisher High Times following an equally bumpy road to going public. On Wednesday, Chairman Adam Levine sent a letter to shareholders of the private company stating that it would once again extend its fundraising campaign and abandon its efforts to list on the NASDAQ Marketsite Exchange (NASDAQ: NDAQ).

The news to quit the NASDAQ listing is not actually new news. This past June, the former CEO Kraig Fox confirmed that the company fell short of its goal to raise $50 million and that it was no longer pursuing the Exchange and instead would switch its focus to the OTC Market. Fox also stated in November that the company hired strategic advisor Lazer & Lazer, who gave the company $1 million through its British Virgin Islands company, identified as El Capital in SEC filings. Fox quit one month later in December after only joining the company in April.

Rayray Pays $5.50, You Pay $11

23,000 shareholders ponied up roughly $15 million for shares that were priced at $11 a share. However, just a couple of weeks ago, High Times did a private placement on January 14, 2020, with Rayray Investments, Inc., an Ontario corporation in which the company only paid $5.50 a share for 363,636 shares for approximately $2 million.

The latest extended offering will terminate on the first to occur of either the date on which all 4,545,454 shares are sold or March 31, 2020. These shares though are priced back at $11 with the goal of raising another $5 million.

According to the most recent corporate presentation, High Times had 32,460, 313 issued shares and if all were valued at $11, that is a $357 million market cap. The company’s current total liabilities are $68 million. 

The last reported revenue figures were for six months ending June 30, 2019, and that was $10.7 million. If that stays flat, the company is only bringing in $20 million a year. It’s operating costs for those six months was $14 million.

The company’s latest presentation says it will increase it events, which has been traditionally the source of its biggest revenue production. However, it is barely breaking even on events, which brought in $6.7 million for those six months but cost $6.5 million to produce. Still, the addition of The Big Show and Spannibus acquisitions could eventually add to the company’s top-line revenue, however, in the company’s last annual report in June it stated that it hadn’t actually closed those acquisitions.

“Not According To Plan”

Levine was apologetic in his letter saying, “What we have learned is that things don’t always go as according to plan. Candidly, we have made a few decisions that in hindsight we may have done differently today. Our largest misgiving is that High Times had hoped to be public by now. But given the market’s volatility in the cannabis sector, we also believe this may have been a blessing in disguise for our company and shareholders alike. We are now more focused and realigned.”

The company has reduced its monthly printing calendar to a quarterly publication. It has consolidated its editorial staff to one location. David Tran, Dope’s founder may be gone, but the magazine along with Culture, has contributed $1.7 million in advertising revenues for the six months ending in June 2019.

High Times says it is pivoting to opening dispensaries and has signed binding letters of intent for two dispensaries. One in Los Angeles and one in Nevada. In a recent filing, the company stated, “We have not, as yet, entered into any definitive agreements to acquire any of the above-referenced businesses. Even if we are able to execute definitive acquisition agreements, our ability to consummate such acquisitions will be subject to a number of conditions, including our having adequate capital and, with respect to our proposed dispensary acquisitions, obtaining the approval of the applicable regulators in Nevada and California and other municipal agencies for the change of ownership of and transfer of dispensary licenses for such businesses. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that we will be able to consummate any or all of these or other intended acquisitions.”

New Leadership

Levine’s shareholder letter did review the recent changes in the C-suite following Fox’s decision to quit in December. “We recently hired e-commerce pioneer Stormy Simon to take over as High Times’s Chief Executive Officer.” and the notice of a new President, ” Simon certainly has her work cut out for her. She is tasked with creating an e-commerce business in a company whose merchandising sales have fallen. She’ll also oversee the transition to operating dispensaries. Not to mention, numerous other endeavors running the gamut from a distribution business to a music label.

Paul Henderson, the former CEO of Groupo Flor, joined as the new President. Henderson served on the board of Cultivate Capital, a Calgary-based cannabis financing company. At the same time, from August 2017 until January 2020, Mr. Henderson was managing partner of Matchbox Partners, a cannabis consulting firm focused on helping cannabis businesses thrive by providing financial forecasting, assisting companies in obtaining financing, as well as assisting with compliance and marketing. From 2017 until 2019, Mr. Henderson was also CEO of Grupo Flor, a California-based cannabis-related real estate company. In addition, from 2016 until 2017, Mr. Henderson served as a consultant and chief financial officer at Edible Management, a California-based company. Prior to entering the cannabis space, from 2009 to 2016, Mr. Henderson was co-owner of Ridgeline Specialty Sports, a bike and ski shop in Idaho and he worked in sales and finance at GE Capital (2011-2014) and Goldman Sachs (2006-2011).

 

 


Video StaffVideo StaffJanuary 17, 2020

3min8260

There’s just one more week until our first Psychedelic Investing event. After that, our next cannabis conference will also be held in NYC on April 3. You can get all the information at www.greenmarketsummit.com.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc said that it expects total net product sales to be approximately $108 million for the fourth quarter and approximately $309 million for the year ending December 31, 2019. The bulk of the fourth quarter sales comes from the epileptic drug Epidiolex, which is expected to be roughly $104 million for the fourth quarter and approximately $296 million for the full year.

Organigram Holdings Inc. reported that its first-quarter 2020 revenue rose by 102% over last year to $25.15 million, which beat analyst estimates by $10.24 million. The company cautioned that it is pumping the rakes on cultivation as Canada is moving at a much slower pace on store openings.

Aphria Inc. reported revenue for adult-use cannabis increased 46% sequentially to $29 million. Total net revenue decreased sequentially by 4% to $120.6 million but jumped 457% over last year’s second quarter. Aphria delivered a net loss of $7.9 million

This week High Times announced that it was getting into the dispensary business. The company has plans for 2 flagship locations in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In addition to that, High Times named Paul Henderson as its new CFO. This will be the third CFO for the company in just one year.

ManifestSeven (formerly known as MJIC) has acquired San Francisco-based legal cannabis delivery service company Lady Chatterley Health, which is focused on high-end women’s products for an undisclosed amount.

Rogue Station Companies, Inc. (OTC Pink: RGST) has acquired Brahman LLC, d/b/a Terpp Extractors, a Fort Collins, Colorado-based manufacturer of cannabis processing equipment in an all-stock transaction. 

Carlos Santana announced his partnership with Left Coast Ventures to develop premium cannabis and hemp CBD brands. 

And finally, Cultivar Holdings said its shares have been listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange using the symbol CULT.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 16, 2020
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Longtime cannabis print publisher High Times is getting into the dispensary business. The company said that it has signed a binding letter of intent to launch branded retail stores in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The company did not specify who it had signed the agreements with or the value attached to the agreements. The locations were only described as being in high traffic areas.

The dispensaries are intended to become flagship High Times stores and in addition to selling cannabis products, will also carry High Times branded products. The stores will also feature award winners from the company’s Cannabis Cup events. There are plans to expand beyond the first two locations.

In addition to the pivot into retail, High Times has named former Grupo Flor CEO Paul Henderson as its President.
High Times noted that Grupo Flor’s store, East of Eden, was one of the top-selling retail stores in the country.
Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Henderson had an extensive career running business units at
Goldman Sachs, GE Capital, and Apple.

“There is no brand in Cannabis that compares to High Times. High Times has ten times the number of social followers of any other cannabis retail brand, not including the millions of cannabis enthusiasts who visit the company’s media properties on a monthly basis., said Henderson. “The cannabis movement has grown in no small part due to the High Times brand, and we will continue to be the source for the highest quality product in this industry – just on a much more personal and direct level.”

Adam Levin, the company’s Executive Chairman stated. “Having the second mover advantage in this industry,
combined with the present downturn in the cannabis capital markets, provides unique timing for High Times to help non-branded stores to differentiate themselves from the industry’s larger multi-state operators. I know I speak for the whole team when I say we’re extremely excited to add Paul to the Hightimes family.”

The company’s November filing had suggested that in addition to retail stores, it could also open High Times consumption cafes. There are also opportunities to use the name for smoking accessories, apparel, and movies.

 C-Suite Upheaval

The move follows the recent resignation of Kraig Fox as CEO and the appointment of Stormy Simon to that role. Fox was seen as the leader who would bring the company’s offering over the goal line and help facilitate the move towards retail and licensing opportunities. He was in the position for less than a year.

Henderson will be more than President, he will also serve as interim Chief Financial Officer stepping in for David Newberg who quit on January 7th, 2020. Newberg was just rehired for the role in July 2019 for two years with a salary of $250,000 a year. He followed Neil Watanabe who joined in April 2019 as the company’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. At that time, he was replacing Newberg, who had served as CFO for two year prior. Watanabe only lasted three months as he quit in July. 

High Times Stock

The crowdfunded offering was expected to happen this past fall but has yet to come to fruition. According to the company’s filings, there are 24,384,571 issued shares, which High Times values at $11.00 giving the company a roughly $268 million market cap. The current total liabilities are $68 million and the revenue for six months ending June 30, 2019, was $10.7 million. 

Events

Events continue to be the big breadwinner for High Times. The Cannabis Cup regularly brought in millions and basically supported the publication. It seemed that High Times was moving towards increasing its focus on events with the acquisition of Spannibus, Chalice Festivals, and The Big Show. In the last company filing though, the company was barely breaking even on events. Events brought in $6.7 million, but cost $6.5 million to produce. It was a decline of 4% from the 2018 event revenue of $7 million.

The company had a winner in Michigan, where it had record attendance and sold out its booth space. It also hit the mark with a DOPE Cup and a Daly City, CA event. However, it wasn’t enough to offset a decline in attendance and booth sales for the regular annual California events held in San Bernardino, Sacramento, and Santa Rosa. 

Synergies

The Cannabis Cup events could become very important to the brands hoping to win. An award winner could conceivably gain entry to the flagship stores and also become a part of future consumption cafes. At this time no other event would be able to match this opportunity. For now, winners at cannabis festivals have only been able to use the titles for marketing purposes. If High Times is successful and commits to featuring the winners, then winning could mean lucrative sales contracts in addition to a trophy for producers and brands.

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 6, 2020
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6min26170

Hightimes Holding Corp. told investors that it accepted the resignation of Kraig G. Fox as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and President Effective December 24, 2019. On January 6, 2020, Stormy Simon, one of the Company’s independent directors and former President of Overstock.com Inc., was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the company by the board of directors. Following her appointment, she will also continue serving as a director on the Company’s board of directors.

Stormy Simon

The change is happening as the cannabis publication prepares to develop its physical and virtual distribution businesses. Having spent the last year acquiring Cannabis media publications and web sites, High Times now looks to monetize its audience of millions of users across the globe. Fox was just hired in April with the intent to finally bring the company public, a move that has been discussed for years at this point. Instead, the launch of the publicly traded stock got delayed again. Fox’s background as a Senior Managing Director of Guggenheim Partners where he focused on Guggenheim’s overall strategy in the media and entertainment spaces as well as the management of its media and entertainment investments was seen as an asset.

Fox was also a founder and Chief Operating Officer of Core Media (previously CKX, Inc.) where he oversaw all operations of this publicly-traded company including Core’s interests in the estate of Elvis Presley and the intellectual property rights of Muhammad Ali as well oversight of its wholly-owned subsidiary, 19 Entertainment, which included American Idol (including television, records, lives tours, artist management and sponsorships) and So You Think You Can Dance. It was anticipated he would capitalize on the name brand of High Times through licensing deals.

Recently, Fox had suggested the company would pivot into consumption cafes and dispensaries and away from cannabis content. Now, it seems there is another pivot away from that idea and Fox has left.

“I’m honored to take on this role at such a pivotal time for this iconic brand. The cost of customer acquisition has plagued the cannabis industry thus far, but utilizing the High Times brand’s global audience, we should be able to monetize our traffic by connecting consumers to cannabis products at an unprecedented scale,” Stormy Simon stated. “Like millions of other people, I have trusted High Times for years and I can’t wait to use my experience to help develop the next iteration of our business: delivering the best products into consumers’ hands.”

Levin will remain in his role as Executive Chairman. He said, “Stormy Simon, who rose through the ranks at Overstock.com during her 15-year tenure with the company, has extensive international business relations and marketing experience and is highly skilled at breaking down and rebuilding departments. Stormy revolutionized Overstock.com’s marketing department, and then its customer service department, during an uncharted time in e-commerce history, eventually leading Overstock.com to increase its revenues from $20 million to over $2 Billion.”

Salary

According to the company’s filings, Ms. Simon will receive a base salary of $300,000 per year, payable in equal monthly installments, provided that the Base Salary shall initially be fixed at $215,000 and the remainder of the Base Salary shall accrue until, and be payable at, such time as the Company shall have raised an additional $10 million. In addition to the salary, Simon will get an annual bonus of up to $225,000 for each calendar year of her employment with the company depending on the High Times’ ability to achieve certain performance goals.  She will also have an option to buy 200,000 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $11.00 per share. One-third of those options vest on January 6, 2020, and the balance of such option shares vesting in equal monthly increments over the remaining two year period.

Simon will also receive a $3,000 travel stipend for company travel between San Jose and Los Angeles for the first six months of employment.

Fox will continue to receive his director and officer insurance policy, and High Times agreed to reimburse Mr. Fox for certain previously incurred business expenses (within five days) of successful completion of sales of an additional $5 million of equity securities or $10 million of proceeds from the sale of debt securities. He is expected to be reimbursed $125,000 with respect to expenses and lease payments for which Fox provided the company with receipts.

 

 

 

 

 


William SumnerWilliam SumnerJune 19, 2019
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5min7630

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for June 19, 2019.

On the Site

Charlotte’s Web Holdings

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc.  (TSX:CWEB)(OTCQX:CWBHF) reported its final hemp planting for its 2019 growing season. The company said that in order to meet growing demand the total acres planted for 2019 has been increased to 862, an 187% increase from 300 acres planted in 2018.

CannTrust Holdings

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) shares popped over 5% in early trading on news that the company had formed a joint venture with California hemp grower Elk Grove Farming Company. CannTrust is a Canadian cannabis company founded by pharmacists and this would be the company’s entry into the United States. The company said it expects to invest roughly $20 million in the operation by the end of 2020. The shares were lately trading at $5.22.

Executive Spotlight: Kraig Fox, President & CEO of High Times Holdings

A veteran media and entertainment executive, Kraig Fox oversees High Time’s day-to-day operations, which now include Dope Magazine, Culture Magazine, Green Rush Daily, and a number of events, including the Cannabis Cup Festivals.

Not Even Close To OK !!! California, Cannabis & IBI (Inherent Bureaucratic Ineptitude)

The Times article describes yet another band-aid the Legislature is slapping on California’s maladroit roll-out of cannabis regulation. This particular band-aid is an emergency extension of time through a budget Trailer Bill. The Bill, which is opposed by environmental groups, extends provisional licensing.

In Other News

Canopy Rivers

Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSXV: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) announced that has made a $10 million investment and has entered into a strategic collaboration with ZeaKal Inc. ZeaKal is a California-based company with with proprietary technologies that reportedly increase photosynthesis, improve plant yield and enhance nutritional profiles for a variety of crops. “Our investment in ZeaKal, the fifth consecutive international transaction for Canopy Rivers, builds on our thesis of selecting globally scalable and innovative processes, products, and technologies from complementary industries, and applying them to the cannabis and hemp economy,” said Mary Dimou, Director of Business Development at Canopy Rivers.

Green Flower Media

Green Flower Media today announced that it has closed a $20 million Series A financing round. The financing round was led by Tuatara Capital and additional funding came from Poseidon Asset Management and Phyto Partners. The proceeds from the round will go towards developing new certificate programs, creating new content for its subscription service, expanding the company’s team, and forming strategic partnerships.

Innovative Industrial Properties

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. announced that it entered into an amendment of the lease with Green Peak Industries, LLC, largest vertically integrated medical-use cannabis license holder in Michigan. The amendment will make available an additional $18 million for Green Peak to expand its cultivation and processing facilities at 10070 Harvest Park in Dimondale, Michigan. “We are thrilled to expand our real estate partnership with one of the premier medical-use cannabis operators in the state of Michigan, another example of our position as a long-term real estate capital partner that our tenant operators can count on,” said Paul Smithers, President and CEO of IIP.



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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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