High Times magazine is the most well-known brand in cannabis and is the leading source for cannabis news, information, and culture globally. HighTimes Holding Corp Executive Chairman Adam Levin provides an overview of the company and an update on recent acquisitions. High Times has acquired key players in the cannabis media space such as Culture, Green Rush Daily, and Dope Magazine. Levin stresses that High Times is more than a media company and shares details of the company’s definitive agreement to buy Feria Del Canamo, S.L. (Spannabis), the largest cannabis trade conference in Europe. These deals ensure that High Times has the largest cannabis audience on the internet, with its publishing portfolio reaching 22 million cannaconsumers. In addition to its publishing assets, the company’s revenue model includes ancillary products, merchandise, B2B trade shows, and concert and event promotion, including the Cannabis Cup. The company is currently undergoing a Regulation A+ offering and Levin is thrilled High Times has secured over 20,000 retail shareholders, as he anticipates the company going public this quarter.
James West: I’m joined now by Adam Levin. He’s the Executive Chairman of High Times Magazine, the best-known brand in cannabis in the world. Adam, welcome.
Adam Levin: Thank you so much for having me.
James West: You bet. I have been a reader of High Times on and off over the entire 44 year history. I’m 55, I started reading it when I was actually nine years old.
Adam Levin: Amazing. I love it.
James West: I learned how to grow cannabis from Ed Rosenthal, who was once one of the most prolific writers of High Times.
Adam Levin: Not only one of the most; I mean, he’s still prolific as it gets. He’s probably one of the biggest names.
James West: Yeah, he is. Actually I went and met him at his house and we shot an interview there that’s going –
Adam Levin: Did he share some of his stuff with you?
James West: He didn’t, because I was with all this film crew and everything. It wasn’t really copacetic, yeah. Okay, so you just led a group that has taken over High Times from previous management.
Adam Levin: I did that two years ago today. Since then, we’ve made seven acquisitions in the space. We’ve bought Culture, we’ve bought Dope Magazine and media properties, in addition, Green Rush Daily. We just announced a definitive agreement to buy Spannabis, the largest cannabis trade conference in Europe.
James West: Really?
Adam Levin: And announced recently that we signed definitives to buy The Big Show. Beyond that, we’ve, it’s been a busy two years, but we’ve done, I don’t know how familiar you are with a Reg-A IPO, it’s like a mini-IPO.
James West: Reg-A Plus?
Adam Levin: Reg-A Plus.
James West: Oh, I know Reg-A plus very well. An offshoot from the Jobs Act that gave companies the ability to raise up to $50 million without filing a prospectus.
Adam Levin: So, do you know how large the – until us, do you know how many people – the largest Reg-A to date as far as number of subscribers was?
James West: I have no idea.
Adam Levin: 5,500 with Elio Motors, which was a huge success at the time.
James West: Yeah, actually I had them on the show, like, two years ago – almost two years ago. A year ago.
Adam Levin: We’re about 20-plus thousand today, shareholders.
James West: Really? Wow.
Adam Levin: So we’ll list in, you know, the near future.
James West: Wow, fantastic.
Adam Levin: And, you know, we’re well on our raise to have a large number of retail shareholders, as you know how important it is in cannabis to have that retail shareholder support.
James West: Yeah, you bet.
Adam Levin: And, you know, TGOD was bragging 7,500 retail shareholders when they went public, and we’re well over 20,000.
James West: Wow, that’s fantastic.
Adam Levin: So it’s been an exciting time, and you know, I really think it shows the gravitas of the brand.
James West: Yeah, you bet. Okay, so now, just because we’re investor-focused, an investor wants to know what is the economics? How does the revenue model work for the company in a publishing space in cannabis?
Adam Levin: So we have a few different revenue models today. Licensing is the natural fit; you know, we’re the most well-known brand in cannabis, so you know, I can imagine today we haven’t touched the plant today; we’ve decided not to go there as a company. Looking at a US listing. But if we were to trade in Canada, we’d be a dispensary today.
But you look at smoke shops, you see High Times products all through smoke shops distributed worldwide; merchandise, obviously. Beyond that, we’re a concert and event promoter, so we have the Cannabis Cup stretching back 30 years to its roots in Amsterdam, and today we’ll do, you know, more than 20 of those throughout the world. Anywhere Amsterdam to Puerto Rico, to Alaska last year.
James West: Sure. Who is the winningest provider of genetics in the Cannabis Cup history?
Adam Levin: You’re going to get me in trouble, here. [laughter] No, there’s been a lot. We’ve had a lot of successful strains –
James West: Oh, okay. I was trying to get you to say DNA Genetics, just because I know those guys a little bit.
Adam Levin: And I’m partial to them, too. Dan and Aaron are great guys, and you know, big supporters. I mean, I think one of my first connections with Dan at the Cup last year, he goes, listen, High Times is what brought us on the map. And they’re doing some exciting things right now as well.
James West: Yes, they are. So events, revenues –
Adam Levin: Events, licensing, events…obviously our publishing business, and we have the largest audience of cannaconsumers on web and social today.
James West: Sure.
Adam Levin: So we’ll do our series of rollups that we’ve bought – you know, Culture and Dope Media. You know, we’ve got more than 22 million eyeballs on our, from a cannaconsumer, which, you look three, four years ago, no one cared about that stoner. Today –
James West: [laughter] I’ve actually been arrested for possession of a High Times magazine in the State of Georgia when I was, I think, 21 years old.
Adam Levin: Just of the magazine?
James West: Well, I had the magazine, and I had a book on mushrooms, and those both caught me the book. Anyways, but that was, you used to have to hide High Times magazine even from my parents. Yeah, exactly.
Adam Levin: Of course.
James West: So yeah, no, I mean, it’s so amazing. I mean, we live in a really fantastic time for a cannabis consumer, to have High Times Magazine now becoming a publicly traded company…I mean, it just warms the cockles of my heart.
Adam Levin: But we’re, you know, much more than a media company today. We’re much more than just a magazine that we’re known for, and we’re buying B2B trade shows, and really expanding worldwide. We recently just brought in a new CEO, Craig Fox, who, you know, is known for overseeing Dick Clark productions and running the Elvis Presley Library, and you know, we’ve brought the guns.
James West: Yeah. So is this kind of like analogous to, like, say, Vice Media, to, like, Fox Business?
Adam Levin: I think it’s much different than that, because those are all media companies. We’re a brand.
James West: Right, okay.
Adam Levin: Okay? Yes, we’ll have a media division, yes, we have. But you look at, like, Fish & Stream the magazine – they have 400 retail stores. So my background is buying media companies. I’ve bought some, you know, Girls Gone Wild, Penthouse Media Group, I probably could go on…Bebo from AOL…and it’s repositioning assets and finding the right purpose and the best overall value for them.
James West: Yeah.
Adam Levin: I mean to me, you look at High Times and the brand, and we haven’t even touched the plant, as I said, but you look at branded products, you look at what we’re already doing, but you look, you know, stores I think is a natural transition. And you know, there’s a lot of exciting things.
James West: Yeah. Okay, so in a Reg-A Plus offering, that gives the average Joe the ability to participate in a financing just, like, alongside institutions.
Adam Levin: Absolutely. It gives the allocation to everyone.
James West: So how long is this financing open for?
Adam Levin: So it’s been open for a little over six months, today; we’ve kept it open, you know, waiting for the NASDAQ markets. I think today with the Green Lane IPO, being the first, you know, cannabis ancillary IPO to be in the US-traded markets, we’re looking at that, and I think, you know, that’s really a big win for the industry and a big win for us. And you know, we’ve had a lot of interest, a lot of people looking and recognizing the value of the brand, far beyond just a media and events company.
James West: No kidding. All right, Adam, well, we’re going to leave it there for now. How soon till the company becomes public?
Adam Levin: We’ll see. I think, you know, we’re looking this quarter.
James West: Cool. All right, well, we’re going to have you back as often as we can because I love High Times. Thanks so much for joining me.
Adam Levin: Thanks so much for having me. Appreciate it.