Cannabis magazine High Times prepares to launch a chain of retail stores

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

One of the most highly acclaimed magazines is branching out into the retail sector. High Times a 45-year-old pro-cannabis publication has revealed that it will be opening a string of dispensaries under its well-known name. 

The magazine, which has been circulating on a monthly basis since 1974, is a trusted source for everything related to cannabis culture. From strain choices and cultivation tips to interviews and industry news, High Times indulges its readers with the information they crave. 

Now, with a loyal reader base and a powerful presence in both the print and online worlds, High Times is in a prime position to serve the growing cannabis consumer demographic in the United States. As of January 2020, 11 U.S. states have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes and 33 have legalized for medical purposes. 

Despite being illegal at the federal level, the company’s new CEO, Stormy Simon, feels that now is as good a time as any to get rooted in the retail sector.

“I’m honored to take on this role at such a pivotal time for this iconic brand,” Simon expressed in a statement. The new CEO boasts 15 years of experience in international business relations and marketing for Overstock.com. 

High Times does not intend on growing or manufacturing cannabis for retail stores 

Company statements have confirmed that, although High Times will be dispensing cannabis products from its branded dispensaries once opened the company will not cultivate the plants itself. Moreover, the company says it will rely on manufacturers to transform plant matter into oils, edibles and other derivatives. 

Nonetheless, High Times will be heavily involved in every other aspect of retail. With new CEO Simon on their side, the future looks bright. She replaces Kraig Fox, who now assumes the role of company president.

“Delivery, retail, and of course just continuing to connect consumers to the great cannabis brands that are out there,” Simon says the new venture will entail, adding that, “it is time for us to start participating.”

High Times announced potential termination of print publication in December  

Back in December, High Times Holdings alerted shareholders of the fact that it may be unable to continue operations. The prediction surfaced after the company observed unresolved debt problems in its most recent SEC filings. 

“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,” reads an official statement from the company.

Things were looking good for High Times in 2018, when the company secured a number of deals to take over rival cannabis publications; such as Culture, Dope Magazine and Green Rush Daily. The company was also preparing to launch a number of 420-focused events for the ensuing year but, unexpectedly crowdsourced IPO fell flat.Now, High Times is desperately searching for a new backer to prevent it from drowning in an ocean of debt; the company’s debt currently rests at $105.2 million.