VENICE, Calif. – Hightimes Holding Corporation, parent company of iconic cannabis publication High Times (as well as Dope Magazine, and Cannabis Cup consumer events) announced this week that it has acquired a chain of thirteen cannabis retail stores located in California. Harvest Health and Recreation, Inc., was acquired for a cash and public stock deal worth $80 million, according to media reports.
“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,” Hightimes Holding Corp. Executive Chairman Adam Levin said in a press release.
“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. We look forward to finding a myriad of ways to work with Steve and the team at Harvest,” Levin continued.
“This transaction allows Harvest to invest in one of the most iconic brands in the industry,” said Harvest’s Chief Executive Officer Steve White. “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 locations will see a rebranding, powered by High Times magazine’s imagery, merchandising, and iconic reputation. Marketing experts and cannabis pundits speculated Hightimes’ pivot to retail is in hopes of attracting investing interest by expanding their business product portfolio.
News agency Associated Press reported that the deal with Harvest is expected to close by the end of June, and added “Hightimes [also had] signed a letter of intent to acquire California-based cannabis producer Humboldt Heritage Inc.” in March.
The moves come several weeks after Hightimes was approved for its HTHC ticker symbol, in mid-March. The approval allows Hightimes to trade on OTC markets; though, as of late February, no date has been announced for trading to commence.
The corporation currently is offering investors a “mini-IPO,” which allows them to sell stock to the public and raise up to $50 million.
“When you have over 25,000 shareholders who have chosen to come along on this ride with you, involving them in a decision that would represent us for the foreseeable future was a no brainer. We’re excited, our shareholders are excited, and we’re going to continue to ask for their input as we grow into retail and beyond,” Hightimes Corp. Chief Executive Officer Stormy Simon told tech publication Benzinga at the time the ticker symbol was approved.
Financial and trade sites have noted High Times has had considerable difficulties bringing a public offering to market. In December, mgRetailer.com reported the corporation was struggling under an enormous amount of tax debt.
“Hightimes Holding’s most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission paints a dismal picture of the company’s situation,” mgRetailer reported at the time.
“For the six-month period ended June 30, 2019, the corporation showed a net operating loss of $11.9 million on revenue of $10.7 million. ‘Because of recurring operating losses, net operating cash flow deficits, and an accumulated deficit, there is substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern for one year from the issuance of the financial statements,’” Hightimes warned investors.