Sunday, October 1, 2023

Groundhog Day For High Times As They Announce Their IPO (Again)

Lucky for High Times, there are numerous disclaimers within the offering that there is no guarantee that the stock will ever trade.

With snow on the ground and a whisper of spring in the air, it means it is time for High Times to make their annual announcement of going public.

It all started in 2018 when High Times declared it would be listed on the acclaimed NASDAQ with a flurry of fanfare including an article on the NASDAQ website. To be listed on the NASDAQ National Market, a company must have net tangible assets of $6 million and net income in the latest fiscal year or two of the past three fiscal years of $1 million.  Notable companies include Apple, Airbnb, DraftKings, Robinhood, JetBlue and more. Big companies can also listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The fall brought a quick and curious incident where the company announced and then quietly retreated from taking crypto currency.

As 2018 closed and 2019 started, Adam Levin, High Times executive chairman, shared with Marijuana Business Daily the company was still seeking a NASDAQ listing and that it would be “foolish” to look at alternatives. Two months later, the company announced they were ditching NASDAQ in favor of OTC (over the counter). The company revealed they had been unable to raise the needed equity of $50 million.

Hard Times For High Times
Photo by Hillary Kladke/Getty Images

RELATED: Hard Times For High Times

In a very public effort, the company crowdsourced investors and ballooned their shareholders to over 23,000 by allowing people to invest under $150. CEO Kraig Fox stated the offering was highly successful despite some criticizing they allowed small investors to put their purchase on their credit card. At $150 a pop, that’s about equal to dinner for four with drinks at Outback Steakhouse. Around the same time, it become public they were in a lawsuit over payments for their recent purchase of Culture Magazine.

When 2020 arrived, COVID was on the brink, and High Times had a new CEO, Stormy Simon replacing Fox. In May, Chairman Levine announced Peter Hovath as the new CEO after the stormy tenure of Simon. In February, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) granted the company the HITM stock ticker symbol, the last regulatory hurdle it needed to clear before High Times shares could begin trading on the OTC market.

Despite the development, nothing happened. In June, Green Entrepreneur reported the company hadn’t filed its annual report and the company SEC informed them, they were supposed to halt sales of shares in the company.

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Photo by Darren415/Getty Images

The year 2021 saw the globe hoping COVID was in the rearview mirror and High Times investors surpassed 30,000. A large number were waiting to cash in on the unknown public value of the company. In February, CEO Hovath shared with Cheddar, “Well, we’re definitely going public this year”.  He then commented April 20 (420) is a notable date in the industry.

RELATED: Another Mainstream Company Jumps Into The Marijuana Business

“Lucky for High Times there are numerous disclaimers within the offering that there is no guarantee that the stock will ever trade. Unfortunately for some of these small investors, they don’t read the offering documents that well,” says Debra Borchardt, executive editor of Green Market Report. “These disclaimers often protect the company, which is why this language gets included in offering documents. It will be a shame if it never goes public because a lot of hopeful investors will be disappointed.”

After four years, you wonder when they will have an IPO. In many cultures including Las Vegas, 7 is a lucky number.


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