High Times Buys DOPE Magazine For $11M: Here's Why And What It Means For The Cannabis Industry
Most enthusiasts would agree High Times and Dope Magazine are the best-known brands in the cannabis-focused media landscape.
In the latest move toward consolidation in the industry, High Times announced Wednesday it has acquired DOPE Media in a split of cash and stock transaction valued at $11.2 million.
This acquisition follows those of CULTURE and Green Rush Daily, and comes amid the parent company’s ongoing Regulation A+ crowdfunding campaign, intended to raise funds for a public listing later this quarter.
Why It's Important
"The acquisition of Dope Media will be a key building block as we continue on our mission to create brand-safe inventory for brands of all sizes," High Times CEO Adam Levin told Benzinga. "The acquisition specifically allows us to offer better localized offerings (which is hugely important for the growth of our industry, still stifled due to restrictive legislation and the outdated federal marijuana ban.”
Beyond Dope’s strong brand name, High Times is acquiring Dope’s magazine, website, events business and staff. This includes CEO George Jage, the former president of Marijuana Business Daily, a company he says he helped grow more than 3,000 percent in under three years.
“This is a smart trade on both sides of the table,” Jage said. “It is a big win for Dope to be able to tap into the reach and resources of High Times as the largest cannabis media company in the world.”
Drake Sutton-Shearer, CEO and founder of Prohbtd, another cannabis-focused media company, said that “as the cannabis industry undergoes consolidation, media properties will be a part of that trend. Now that High Times has a consumer magazine portfolio of cannabis brands, it will be interesting to see how that translates to future digital revenue.”
Last week, High Times announced it had cleared escrow on $5 million raised from more than 6,000 new investors. The brand also decided to extend the deadline for investing in the offering, and it's now open as late as Oct. 31 ahead of its intended public listing this year.
It should be noted some investors, analysts and the company itself have warned about the elevated risk investing in High Times’ RegA+ raise implies. An SEC filing reads: “This investment is suitable only for persons who can bear the economic risk for an indefinite period of time and who can afford to lose their entire investment. Furthermore, investors must understand that such investment is illiquid and is expected to continue to be illiquid for an indefinite period of time. No public market exists for the securities.”
Levin remains optimistic.
"We couldn't be more proud of our growth and success over this past year-and-a-half, but receiving this level of acknowledgement and support from the community doubles down on our belief that we're moving in the right direction and that the community is behind us," he said last week.
Photo by Javier Hasse.
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