Hightimes Holding Corporation has hired Kraig Fox as President and Chief Executive Officer. Fox will oversee the company’s portfolio of global media, events and licensed properties. Adam Levin, who has served as High Time’s CEO since its acquisition by Hightimes Holding Corp in 2017, will now serve as the company’s Executive Chairman.
The announcement of Mr. Fox comes as High Times is raising capital through its Regulation A+ funding initiatives in cannabis history in preparation for the public listing of its shares, expected later in 2019. The High Times Regulation A+ offering and has already generated more than 20,000 investors but has been extended repeatedly. The offering originally began in early 2018 as part of the Origo Acquisition. Fox has extensive experience in the public markets arena and in mergers and acquisitions and the hire is expected to finally bring the offering to a close.
“Kraig’s operating and finance experience with public companies in the live entertainment, music and branding sectors makes him the ideal executive to take the High Times brand, our growing portfolio of assets and our business operations to the next level,” said High Times Executive Chairman Adam Levin. “As our operations expand globally, Kraig will provide both the personnel leadership and operational strategy to bring positive returns to those financially invested in the High Times brand. I couldn’t be more excited to have Kraig join us.”
“We plan on keeping our public offering open for a brief period as we conclude discussions with institutions and other major investors,” said Fox. “Both the investor and cannabis communities recognize that High Times is uniquely positioned to empower the industry with positive long-term financial returns.”
Fox brings a stellar bio to the world of High Times. He was once 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. Prior to joining Guggenheim, Fox was 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.
Prior to Core, Mr. Fox was a founder of SFX Entertainment (now Live Nation) where he was Chief Development Officer from 1995 until 2000 overseeing the global consolidation of the live entertainment industry into the worlds largest owner and operator of live entertainment promoters and producers.
High Times’ Acquisition Moves
High Times has been on an acquisition binge as the company seems to be pivoting towards events, which have historically been its largest source of revenue. High Times owns and operates The Cannabis Cup, the world’s largest cannabis-themed series of events. High Times has entered into definitive agreements to acquire The Big Show, a leading US-based cannabis conference and exposition and Spanabis, the largest cannabis conference in the world based in Barcelona, Spain.
The magazine business, in general, has dropped as readers across all genre’s mostly consumer media in a digital method versus print publications. The company has acquired three high-profile print and online media brands: CULTURE, DOPE Magazine, and Green Rush Daily. High Times has also created a music label, a Video-On-Demand platform and successfully completed several licensing deals, as well as the re-release of its debut music record with distribution from retail giant Urban Outfitters.
“Our portfolio of complementary businesses excels at connecting cannabis consumers with a variety of brands,” Fox said. “This is a lucrative time for the global cannabis industry, the High Times brand and for all of our company stakeholders
PORT RICHEY, FL, April 2, 2019 /AxisWire/ — Garyn Angel, CEO and founder of MagicalButter and inventor of the award winning MB2e botanical extractor, “MagicalButter machine,” was honored by High Times Magazine for his contributions shaping the global cannabis industry. This is the second year in a row Angel has been named High Times’ 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis.
Angels invention, The MagicalButter MB2e, is the world’s first countertop botanical extractor designed for creating recipes infusing the essence of healthy herbs into butter, oil, grain alcohol, lotions, and more. In 2012, Angel also founded the Cheers to Goodness Foundation, a unique, non-profit charity dedicated to uplifting medical refugees. The organization provides financial assistance to patients in need of specialized medical treatment, most recently donating MB2e machines to medical marijuana patients in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
“The top 100 of anything is an incredible honor, but High Times 100 Most Influential—when it’s the hottest industry in the world—really inspires us to work harder and continue to deliver products that our customers really love,” says Angel. “The DIY edibles market has really just begun, and MagicalButter is confident we’ll expand the shelf space we’ve created.”
MagicalButter’s groundbreaking products are distributed across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Port Richey, Florida, based company has spurred a global edible DIY market through providing consumers and patients with the tools and knowledge to decarboxylate, extract, infuse, create and store edibles and medibles at home.
Every year, The High Times 100 celebrates the 100 most influential people in the cannabis world, from entrepreneurs and activists to entertainers, politicians, cultivators and more.
MagicalButter is an entirely new category of products. The MagicalButter machine MB2e is the world’s first countertop botanical extractor designed for creating recipes infusing the essence of healthy herbs into butter, oil, grain alcohol, lotions, and more. Most important are the amazing benefits of certain plants people all over the world are discovering can be used to enrich their health. MagicalButter products are consistently affordable, easy to use, made from premium quality materials, and offer peerless customer service from TeamMB. As a team, we own the company, we design the products, we use them, we truly care about quality and about each customer—and our fans tell us it shows in the personalized attention they receive. Together We Win. https://www.magicalbutter.com
High Times Magazine hosted a party in Los Angeles, CA this past Friday evening celebrating the 20 Women of Weed Honorees. The party was held at the Boulevard 3 on Sunset Boulevard and looked to be heavily attended. This year marked the second year for this celebration of women who have made significant contributions to the industry.
The evening kicked off with a great speech from Stormy Simon, a previous honoree, followed by a powerful story by Honey Pot Founder Corey Thomas. Thomas told the audience about the challenges and successes of being a long-time cannabis entrepreneur. She also announced that the new rebranding of Honey Pot was finished and the new products would be launched shortly.
Rylie Maedler caused the huge ballroom to come to a hush as she told of her experience using medical marijuana and how it has helped her live a normal life despite having a rare type of debilitating bone tumor disease AGCG and a seizure disorder. A truly inspiring speech from an impressive 13-year old. One that reminded how cannabis can change lives.
Great, music, good food and a beautiful venue made the women in the room feel appreciated and truly special.
This year’s honorees included:
Alison Gordon, CEO of 48North (NRTH)
Amanda Ostrowitz, Founder, CannaRegs
Amanda Reiman, Vice President, Flow Kana
Amy McClintick, Cura
Ann Skalski, Chief Brand Officer, Double Barrel
Cassandra Farrington, Co-founder MJBiz Daily
Cevon Lee Iny, Co-Founder, House of Eden
Corey Thomas, Founder, Honey Pot
Cynthia Salarizadeh, Co-Founder, Chief Strategic Officer, Green Market Media
Debra Borchardt, Co-Founder, CEO of Green Market Report
Beth Stavola, Chief Strategy Officer, iAnthus Capital; CEO, CBD For Life
Hightimes Holding Corp., the parent company of High Times Magazine, is acquiring Spannabis, the European Union’s largest Cannabis industry event in a deal valued at $7 million. The terms include $3 million in cash and $4 million of Hightimes stock, plus two milestone payments for the show in 2020 and 2021. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.
“Spannabis is one of the most prolific events in the cannabis ecosystem, and one of the most well-known annual festivals within the EU,” said High Times CEO Adam Levin. “This acquisition will provide an additional international platform for our customers looking for additional international exposure opportunities.”
Spannabis is considered to be part trade show and part research conference and is set to celebrate its 16th event this March 15-17 in Barcelona, Spain. The festival, which also includes its own award ceremony crowning the best cannabis and cannabis-related products in the region, attracts tens of thousands of consumers from across the globe annually.
“This deal is a game-changer for Spannabis. We’ve idolized High Times for decades, so to be adopted by this groundbreaking team is nothing short of extraordinary!“ said Spannabis CEO Carlos Palomino, “We know the future is bright for Cannabis, and for the High Times who has been leading this movement since many of us were in diapers. We look forward to continuing to push this thriving movement forward, together.”
This is just the latest acquisition for the long-time cannabis publication as the company is focusing its efforts on more events. High Times recently announced its acquisition of the accessory cannabis conference called the BIG Show. It’s own Cannabis Cup frequently contributed approximately 75% of the company’s revenue. The statement noted that this marks its second foray into Europe for the predominantly US driven brand, and is a sign of the markets coming globalization.
The company has been able to go on this past year’s spending spree as it has embarked on a Regulation A+ crowdfunding campaign, which has raised millions of dollars from more than seventeen thousand investors across the globe.
“We believe that High Times is the most recognizable brand in Cannabis across the world. You can see our logo proudly displayed from New York to Singapore and we look forward to creating more access and experiences for consumers no matter where they live,” Levin added.
Long time cannabis media company High Times has entered into an agreement to acquire Buyers Industry Guide, the publication and production company responsible for the highly successful canna-conference series ‘the BIG Show’ for an undisclosed amount. This B2B tradeshow attracts over 10,000 industry guests annually and is known for its product sales like smoking accessories. It’s held twice a year in Miami and Los Angeles.
“The Big Show has a great reputation throughout the industry, so to bring their brand in-house is really exciting. They’ve developed an impressive roster of attendees, and a loyal audience – we’re looking forward to continuing to add more resources and additional programming in future years” Adam Levin, Chairman and CEO of High Times Holdings said.
The latest acquisition is the latest effort to build upon High Times’ event production business, which includes entertainment festivals like the Cannabis Cup, Reggae On The River and industry events like the High Times Business Expo. The company recently acquired Dope Magazine, which also sponsors events in addition to its magazine publication.
The relationship between the two companies was already quite strong. Buyers Industry Guide better known by its event titled, ‘the BIG Show,’ had previously partnered with High Times for support in programming its event schedule and has previously used High Times sales infrastructure.
“Working with High Times is a dream come true,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, the sole proprietor of Buyers Industry Guide. “I grew up reading their publication, and after meeting Adam and learning about his plans, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect marriage. High Times is rapidly evolving, pivoting away from solely focusing on media, into a true technology and services business. Receiving this kind of approval from these kingmakers reaffirms my belief that we’re on the right path, and doubles down on our belief that these types of events are not only beneficial but necessary for the growth of this industry!”
The transaction is expected to close during Q1 of 2019 and comes during a time that High Times has been offering shares in the company through a Regulation A+ crowdfunding campaign. The date for the closing of the offering has been extended several times. It was last supposed to close on October 31, but that has been pushed to January 31.
High Times also recently converted its debt to the upcoming stock. High Times had been saddled with $25.6 million worth of 12% convertible notes as a result of the acquisition back in February 2017 from Trans-High Corporation (THC). THC has agreed to immediately convert the debt into shares of Common stock at $11 per share. That is the same price that the public crowdfunding investors are paying.
Hightimes Holding Corp., the owner of the long-running High Times magazine, announced the exercise of warrants and the conversion of outstanding notes into its Class A common stock, resulting in a reduction of approximately $28.6 million of its outstanding debt obligations.
High Times had been saddled with $25.6 million worth of 12% convertible notes as a result of the acquisition back in February 2017 from Trans High Corporation (THC). THC has agreed to immediately convert the debt into shares of Common stock at $11 per share. That is the same price that the public crowdfunding investors are paying.
Adam Levin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hightimes Holding, said, “This transaction enables us to simplify our balance sheet and further our business development efforts. We are pleased to have the support of some of our largest shareholders as we take this next step in the maturation of our company. The confidence and support of our shareholders will help us to execute on our vision of becoming a dominant player in the cannabis industry.”
In addition, Hightimes said that its senior secured lender has agreed that once the Hightimes initial public offering occurs and the listing of its common stock on an approved securities exchange happens, the lender will exercise its warrants and use the exercise price to reduce approximately $3.0 million of Hightimes Holding’s senior secured debt.
Eleanora Kennedy, one of Hightimes Holding’s largest investors, said, “We believe in the power of the brand, and are supportive of its growth under Adam’s leadership. We are especially excited to see the huge signals of confidence coming from the creators, and financiers, that helped develop this brand into what it is today. Our expansion seeks to bridge many of the gaps left open by the legalization movement, and the continued prohibition in some states and this sign of approval doubles down on our belief that we’re heading in the right direction.”
The crowdfunding Regulation a+ offering from Hightimes Holding has raised more than $13,200,000 from over 15,000 stockholders. With a minimum investment of $99, small investors were able to participate in the offering prior to the company going public. With many cannabis companies receiving lofty valuations, the High Times offering has become an accessible investment. Only the biggest investors have been able to get in early for most of the recently public company offerings. Generally, companies prefer a much smaller group of investors putting in much more money each.
The company said the offering will remain open until January 31, 2019, but the organization may elect to list prior to that. The closing of the offering has been extended numerous times with each deadline expiring without the shares going public.
High Times has been on an acquisition binge since it began the crowdfunding campaign. It recently acquired DOPE Magazine in a deal valued at $11.2 million. The deal was a combination of stock and cash. The media company also acquired CULTURE and Green Rush Daily. 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.
THC Group was founded in 1974 and publishes the monthly magazine and produces events like the Cannabis Cup. High Times Holdings was created in December of 2016 to acquire Trans-High Corporation and its subsidiaries called the THC Group in a deal valued at $70 million. The High Times Group entered into an agreement with Green Rush Daily in August 2017 and the company also owns the domain 420.com.
During the massive gathering of cannabis industry leaders at Marijuana Business Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, the leading women came together to honor the achievements of their peers. The 2nd Annual Industry Power Women Awards, the ceremony aimed to recognize the accomplishments of women in the cannabis industry; from entrepreneurs and investors to influencers and advocates, commenced.
IPW was founded in 2017 and is an organization established to help advance female businesswomen in cannabis. IPW aims to elevate and empower female entrepreneurship within the cannabis industry by creating a support network of like-minded individuals.
Attending the invite-only ceremony was an assortment of women from across the industry and all walks of life. These women include founders, CEOs, C-suite executives, trade organization leaders and community organizers.
Green Market Report co-founder and CEO, Debra Borchardt, and managing partner of KCSA Strategic Communications as well as the founder of AxisWire, Cynthia Salarizadeh acted as hostesses for the event. The first to take home an award was Kristin Hope for the Rising Star Award. At just 15 years old, Hope became the first person to launch a pharmaceutical grade hemp beauty line, HOOP, and was most recently nominated for the Bell scholarship.
The next award recipient was Gaynell Rogers, who won Influencer of the Year. As one of the most respected voices in public relations, Rogers has worked with some of the best and brightest in the cannabis industry; including Harborside Health’s Co-Founder Steve DeAngelo.
Outside of the cannabis industry, Rogers is also known for her work as the senior publicist for Lucasfilm and the Head of Feature Film Publicity at Pixar for the first “Incredibles” and “Cars.”
For her outstanding work as a cannabis advocate, Amy T. Margolis was granted the 2018 Leadership Award. Margolis is the founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association, which is one of the largest trade organizations in the cannabis industry.
Most recently, Margolis was also named by Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) as one of the 2017’s 100 Most Powerful Political People in Cannabis and one of the 50 Most Important Women in Cannabis in both 2016 and 2017.
Taking the prize for Advocate of the Year was Wanda James. As an outspoken political voice and serial entrepreneur, James has been honored by High Times Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis and was also named as one of the 50 Most Important Women in the Cannabis Industry by CBE.
Emily Paxhia, co-founder and Managing Partner of Poseidon Asset Management, was named IPW’s Investor of the Year. Throughout her career, Paxhia has reviewed thousands of cannabis companies and has always taken the time to uplift promising female entrepreneurs by helping them shape their pitch preparations, go-to-market strategies/ product launches, and advised on day-to-day business operations.
Taking the Industry Power Women top honor of 2018 Business Woman of the Year was Jessica Billingsley. Billingsley is the Co-Founder and CEO of MJ Freeway Business Solutions; a technology company that provides software solutions to cannabis firms, as well as small-business, consulting services and application license support. In addition to her entrepreneurial accomplishments, Billingsley has also been named to Fortune Magazine’s list of Top 10 Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs.
Following the ceremony, many of the attendees would later recount with exuberance how empowered the event made them feel. For many, this event stood out as one of the few places where they could be with other women and talk about their trade. In an industry that continues to be dominated by men, that matters; and it only serves to highlight the continued relevance, and need, for ceremonies like the Industry Power Women Awards.
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2018 /AxisWire/ AxisWire, the cannabis industry’s first tech platform designed for cannabis entrepreneurs to expose their brands and cannabis journalists to seek out breaking stories, announced today the official winners of the inaugural STAR Media Awards.
“Removing the stigma and reversing the perceptional course of cannabis in the world requires mass media and strategic communications efforts,” expressed Cynthia Salarizadeh, Founder of AxisWire and Managing Partner. “The men and women behind changing the conversation and course of cannabis have been largely ignored for their part in industry advancement. In an open effort to recognize their massive contributions, and to provide an opportunity to thank them for their work, the collective teams of AxisWire and a majority of the top PR firms throughout cannabis came together to award the journalists and publications that we have all been working closely with since the start of regulation. They each deserve the recognition.”
Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, the STAR Media Awards were designed to honor excellence cannabis writing; an often under recognized facet of the cannabis industry. Attending the ceremony were some of the best and brightest in the world of cannabis journalism, many of whom have been covering the cannabis space for decades with little to no recognition.
The 2018 Star Media Award winners are:
Best Traditional Cannabis Publication – High Times
Best New Cannabis Publication – Green Entrepreneur
Best Cannabis Business Publication – MJ Biz Daily
Best Cannabis Print Publication – DOPE
Best Cannabis Culture Publication – Civilized
Best Cannabis Digital Publication – The Fresh Toast
Best Cannabis Culture Writer – Michelle Janikian
Best Cannabis Cultivation Writer – Danny Danko (High Times)
Best Cannabis Business Writer – Javier Hasse (Benzinga)
Best Cannabis Mainstream Writer – Alex Halperin (The Guardian)
Best Cannabis Freelance Writer – Sara Brittany Somerset (Forbes/Leafly)
Best Social Media Impact In Cannabis – Garyn Angel (Magical Butter)
About STAR (Submit To A Reporter): The STAR Source Locator is the only platform in cannabis of its kind. This service will connect journalists seeking sources and content with entrepreneurs and industry leaders through a vast network of experts in all divisions of the cannabis space. Subscribers will receive story requests directly to their emails and will cut through the random pitching of press, to an effective pitching process that is directed at stories the journalists are actively working on. STAR is free for journalists and is $99.99 per month for subscribers.
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. This platform was created and now operating through a collaborative merger of the most influential and innovative PR and marketing firms operating within the cannabis industry. AxisWire is positioned to sit at the center of all things cannabis media. For more information, please visit axiswire.com. Follow us on social media @AxisWire.
HighTimes Holding Corp. has extended its stock offering once again according to a filing with the SEC. This time, the offering is set to close on November 30, 2018. It had been set to close on Oct. 31, but the company said it wanted to accommodate additional investors.
CEO Adam Levin had commented recently that the iHeart Radio deal had also resulted in an influx of new investors to the offering and that the extension of the offering date would also give more time for this new audience hearing about the offering.
In addition to extending the offering, High Times also announced that its new partner Chalice Holdings had missed a debt payment. The company, Chalice Festivals, apparently owed $587,500 and when it didn’t make the payment, Gemini Finance Corp. decided to foreclose on the property. Gemini will receive substantially all of the assets and business of Wisdom Apparatus and Chalice Festivals, both California corporations. High Times will be acquiring the festival company from Gemini.
Gemini will receive $560,000 in a promissory note between Chalice Holdings and High Times that will be due March 29, 2019. The note is secured by High Times stock from the Reg A offering whose deadline has been extended.
Separately, High Times released its earnings for the past six months ending June 30, 2018. According to the company’s filing, U.S. revenues decreased by $1.2 million or 12.5%, to $8.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018 from $10.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2017 due to lower than expected results of the event in San Bernardino and the lower print magazine revenues, which were partially offset by an increase in merchandising sales.
Festival revenue fell 14.2% for the first six months to $7 million, publishing and advertising fell 13% to $1.6 million, but merchandising jumped 225% to $202,000. Digital advertising and social media service revenue increased over the prior year which did partially offset the decline in total print revenue.
High Times’ acquisition of the Green Rush Daily website at the end of the first quarter 2018 and its subsequent integration into the company in the second quarter is expected to increase the amount of ad inventory space even though the founder Scott McGovern is no longer with the company. A better online store for branded merchandise and new licensing deals have also begun to pay off.
Operating expenses actually fell 42.9% to $6.2 million as professional fees dropped. but the net loss for the six months increased by 95.3% to $19.7 million.
Since those earnings, High Times has made many acquisitions. In September, it agreed to acquire DOPE Media for $$1.2 million, of which 10,000,420 will be paid in High Times stock and $1,000,000 in cash.
It acquired Culture Magazine in June for $4 million in an all stock deal, but the filing did not state that this deal had been closed. The company has an incentive to complete its offering by December 1, 2018, at which point it will be required to issue a promissory note to Southland Publishing for $2 million, in lieu of $4 million worth of stock. Culture Pub a new subsidiary of High Times wants to purchase some of Culture Magazines assets from Southland.
On September 11, 2018, High Times licensed to Spectrum the right to use Hightimes™ name, logo and brand in connection with the marketing and distribution of all Spectrum products and granted Spectrum, over a period of three years, an aggregate of $1,500,000 worth of advertising credits in the High Times print and internet magazines and at all festivals sponsored by High Times. In return, High Times got 11 units of Spectrum membership interests, representing 9.9% of Spectrum’s outstanding equity. Spectrum does business as “SPECTRUM KING LED,” and specializes in designing, manufacturing and selling high-end LED grow lights for indoor and greenhouse applications.
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.
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