When you think of weed and media, you also think of High Times. It's just the way it's been for the past half-century. But as with weed, the counterculture it inspired for many decades is going corporate along with it. Recently, the magazine and its holdings were acquired for a cool $70 mil by investors, dispensary owners, real estaters, tech guys … a lot of people, actually.
As Business Insider reports: "Venture capitalist Adam Levin led the $70 million acquisition through his new firm, Oreva Capital, partnering with Damian Marley's newly-public company Stony Hill, Ean Seeb, the founder of Denver Relief Consulting, a Colorado dispensary, and 17 other partners in the cannabis, real estate, and technology space."
With over 230,000 print subscriptions and a couple million people reached on its site monthly, High Times is still clearly a major player in the game of media. However, problems with administration a few years back caused it to slip a little in the eyes of its readers who think that and the corporate move might be the brand's undoing.
"I don't know if I've actually bought a High Times in a few years," says Sarah Ruiz, 32. "It was a lot of fun when I was an angsty kid looking to screw the system over a little, but now that weed's legal there isn't much of that outlaw spirit left in me or it. I mean shit, there are cannabis boutiques and spas right down from my house. Weed's gone white suburbia."
The new owners promise the brand will stay in tact, however, and hope to expand its event series (putting a lot of emphasis on the Cannabis Cup) and grow the digital space more than what it is.
"At the end of the day, we're the trusted brand to a consumer audience that's growing on a day-to-day basis and massively evolving from the typical stoner audience, to an everyday consumer type of audience," Levin said to Business Insider.
"High Times is the brand that they trust, and High Times is the brand that they see the affiliation with and that they identify with," he added.