Connect with us


Fall of an Icon: High Times Magazine Assets Up for Sale

The sale of the High Times assets is a significant event for the cannabis industry, highlighting both market volatility and the effects of financial management in rapidly growing sectors. This case sheds light on broader implications for the brand’s legacy and for a cannabis market that continues to grapple with regulatory and operational challenges.



High Times

High Times, once an iconic magazine and symbol of the 1970s counterculture, now faces serious financial challenges. Founded in 1974 by Thomas Forcade, the magazine gained popularity by promoting cannabis culture and attracting the attention of both cannabis enthusiasts and advocates of liberalization of its regulations. For decades, High Times has not only informed, but also shaped opinions, becoming an integral part of the cannabis subculture.

Unfortunately, despite its iconic past, the brand has encountered serious financial difficulties in recent years. After being acquired in 2017 by an investment group led by Adam Levin, High Times expanded its operations into direct ventures related to the cultivation and sale of cannabis. However, this expansion did not bring the expected results, and debts reached $28.8 million, forcing the company to put its assets up for sale.

Now, under pressure from creditors, all of High Times’ assets will be put up for auction if no acceptable offers are received by May 17. This urgent sale highlights not only the company’s financial problems, but also a change in management and the future of the brand, which makes the situation even more dramatic. This auction represents not only the end of an era, but also a potential chance for a new life for this iconic title in the cannabis industry.

The history and transformation of High Times

Founded in 1974 by Thomas Forcade, High Times magazine quickly became not only a popular cannabis magazine, but a symbol of the counterculture movement that emerged against the backdrop of social and political changes in the United States. Initially a voice of subculture and personal freedom, High Times attracted the attention of activists and regular cannabis enthusiasts alike. Over the following decades, the magazine evolved, documenting and influencing changing public attitudes toward cannabis and its legalization.

A significant change occurred in 2017, when a group of investors led by Adam Levin took control of the brand. Levin, seeing the potential in the burgeoning cannabis industry, transformed High Times from a magazine focused primarily on cannabis culture and politics into a multi-faceted enterprise engaging directly with the cannabis market. Under his leadership, High Times began to expand, acquiring licenses to operate pharmacies and investing in plant cultivation.

Levin focused on diversifying the brand’s revenue sources through acquisitions and expanding its offering. As part of its growth strategy, High Times acquired several well-known event management companies, including Cannabis Cup, further cementing the magazine’s position as a key player in the cannabis industry. However, despite ambitious plans and an aggressive expansion strategy, the company’s finances began to fail. Long-term financial obligations to ExWorks that had helped finance the purchases became a burden the company could no longer cope with, ultimately leading to the decision to sell the assets and auction them off as a way to settle the debts.

The road of receivership

High Times’ financial situation began to deteriorate rapidly when the company was unable to meet its obligations to ExWorks, the financial firm that supported the acquisition of the brand by Adam Levin and his team of investors. ExWorks provided significant financing to enable High Times to evolve from a warehouse to a full-fledged cannabis enterprise. Unfortunately, unrealized plans and a lack of expected revenues led to mounting debts that eventually exceeded the company’s ability to pay, which amounted to $28.8 million. As a result, ExWorks initiated a legal procedure aimed at recovering the invested funds, which led to High Times being declared bankrupt.

In response to this situation, the court appointed Stephen Kunkle as conservator to manage the High Times estate and conduct the process of selling the assets to repay creditors. Kunkle, with experience in crisis management and restructuring, was faced with the task of securing the best possible conditions for the sale of the assets. To achieve this, he hired Kevin Singer and Greenlife Business Group, a company specializing in the sale of assets related to the cannabis industry, which was supposed to speed up the entire process and increase the efficiency of the bidding.

The curation and related activities had a profound impact on High Times’ operations and reputation. For a company whose name has been synonymous with success and influence in cannabis culture for decades, the lawsuit represented a public admission of financial failures. Moreover, uncertainty about the future of the brand may have discouraged potential investors and customers, affecting the continued value of High Times in the market.

Overview of High Times assets for sale

In the upcoming auction, High Times is offering for sale a wide range of assets that include dispensary licenses, cultivation facilities and valuable intellectual property rights. Each of these elements has unique characteristics and potential market value, but also its own challenges, pointed out Drew Mathews, CEO of Greenlife Business Group, which is handling the sale of these assets.

The first key asset is the distribution and production of High Times Cannabis based in California. This facility, with an area of ​​over 800 m², generated significant revenues in 2023, which reached up to $399,946.20 in May. This facility has a one-year license to produce and distribute cannabis.

The second asset is the HighTimes cultivation facility in Sacramento, equipped with 300 lamps and capable of producing 100 kg of herb per cycle. This installation with an area of ​​over 900 m², in addition to an extensive LED lighting system, also has an advanced irrigation and environmental monitoring system. The 2023 revenue showed a steady income of $147,594.92 in July 2023.

High Times’ portfolio also includes seven full-fledged dispensaries in California, each with unique features and licenses. These locations, although fully equipped and ready to operate, are struggling with financial problems, such as unpaid rent, which may affect their market value.

In addition to physical properties, intellectual property is also up for sale, including internet domains such as 420 .com and rights to the Cannabis Cup brand. While these digital and branded assets are potentially very valuable, the lack of comparable transactions in the market makes it difficult to precisely estimate their value.

These diverse assets, despite their potential value, present Drew Mathews and his team with the challenge of selling at short notice, with the need to attract investors despite High Times’ financial difficulties and complex legal situation.

Auction process and market reaction

The auction process, supervised by Greenlife Business Group, is carried out according to a rigorous schedule, ending with the deadline for accepting offers on May 17. Due to High Times’ complicated financial situation, the pace of the process is crucial. Greenlife’s Drew Mathews reported that he has already received two offers for some assets, such as the domain, suggesting a value of around $100,000.

However, other properties, especially those generating losses, have not yet attracted concrete offers, which may reflect potential buyers’ fears of investing in facilities with financial problems. Reduced time to sell and ongoing losses can significantly impact final sales prices, potentially forcing you to accept lower offers to quickly resolve financial obligations.

Despite current challenges, the High Times brand still has significant market potential, particularly in the cannabis entertainment and education industries. Potential buyers could leverage the brand’s established positioning to rebuild its prestige by focusing on the cultural and educational aspects of cannabis while expanding into new markets and digital platforms. It is also worth noting the rumors about the possible indirect involvement of Adam Levin in the re-takeover of the brand, which may introduce additional dynamics into future development strategies.


(Featured image by Markus Winkler via Pexels)

DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.

This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the Company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the Company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the Company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.

First published in FaktyKonopne. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the articles from the originals. In case of discrepancy, the originals will prevail.

Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Born2Invest assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Born2Invest is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us

Arturo Garcia started out as a political writer for a local newspaper in Peru, before covering big-league sports for national broadsheets. Eventually he began writing about innovative tech and business trends, which let him travel all over North and South America. Currently he is exploring the world of Bitcoin and cannabis, two hot commodities which he believes are poised to change history.

Continue Reading