Remember the days when cannabis culture was so underground that you had to hide your High Times magazines under your bed? Today, pot is not only legal in some form across 29 states, it is also widely accepted to smoke weed occasionally without getting slapped with the stereotype of a “pothead”. So, it is about time that the headliner of the cannabis industry, High Times, adopted a similar outlier like cryptocurrency.
The announcement that the magazine will use crypto as a catalyst to boost its capital gains comes with two firsts: the first cannabis business listed on the Nasdaq public stock exchange and the first stock to use Bitcoin and Ethereum for share purchases. The regulation A+ application to be added to the public exchange is pending as their IPO (initial public offering) hopes to sell 4,545,454 shares and up to $50 million at $11 per share.
Opening up the market
There are two goals in mind for this IPO: one is to expand the weed market and the other is to open High Times stock up to a larger base of investors.
Legalization is on the rise, yet cannabis is still classified as a schedule 1 illegal substance according to the federal government. Since 1974, High Times magazine has been advocating for marijuana acceptance and normalcy by publishing articles that debunk misconceptions about psychedelic drugs, especially marijuana. They hope to continue their advocacy by spreading good news to a larger audience.
They also aim to include more small businesses in their content in order to showcase new and quality products. Reaching more people is a priority, so there will be an increase in events as well as a digital presence.
By including cryptocurrency in this strategy, High Times is allowing those investors looking to place their Bitcoin or Ethereum in a worthy venture outside the ICO (initial coin offering) realm of the crypto market.
Will the IPO be successful?
Considering the reputation of High Times as a reliable source for over 21 million cannabis users and with a market cap of $225 million, it is a business that proves to be both resourceful, stable, and with its inclusion of crytocurrency, trend-setting.
While the regulation A+ application for the stock exchange is pending, the SEC has approved this IPO as a legitimate cause for crowdfunding. High Times has reported to the SEC that it has lowered its “negative equity” by $29 million, cut operating costs, and reduced its debt.
It is a special kind of relationship when two markets come together that have been scrutinized as fringe, rejected as illegal, and ultimately embraced as a profitable and safe endeavor. Both communities can help one another in ways not possible with fiat currency.
The cash conundrum plaguing the cannabis industry can be solved by easy, fast, and reliable implementation of digital currency. And the spread of cannabis legalization can be an opportunity for the cryptocurrency market to be used in real-world retail sales. Both enterprises can use the other to expand and thrive while leaving traditional payment and regulation options behind.