High Times, the flagship media outlet of the marijuana culture, has announced it will accept digital currencies in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) which is scheduled for late 2018. Notably, the cannabis magazine will become the first traditional stock offering to accept crypto investments, which is a significant milestone in itself.
The crypto investments in IPOs were enabled by the Regulation A+ act, which, following a rule change in 2015, allows startups to use ‘mini IPOs’ to attract potential investors. Per the new regulation, a small business can receive up to $50 million from the general public. Prior to the rule change, companies could only try to lure accredited investors, who often tend to be skeptical towards digital assets.
High Times CEO Adam Levin was quick to point that out, claiming that, “Cryptocurrencies have created a new investor base across the world—we’re just giving them more stable opportunities for investment. […] While we didn’t believe that the ICO process was the right move for our brand, it would’ve been foolish to leave this emerging investor base out as we continue to transform into a diversified media, events and merchandise giant.”
It is quite understandable of why the company which has been a “preeminent source for cannabis information since 1974” did not want to take the ICO route, as fraudulent and failed Initial Coin Offerings have tarnished the industry on a number of occasions. Therefore, choosing a more traditional approach for a company with over 40 years of experience under its belt seems perfectly logical.
Crypto aficionados with a soft spot for hemp will still be able to buy shares of the company, with investments being accepted in BTC and ETH. The shares will be available for a price of $11 each, which the company claims is a 10 percent discount on the forthcoming NASDAQ price, following the listing later this year.
Mr. Levin claimed that “High Times has been at the forefront of popular culture for more than four decades. Now we’re taking another step into the future, not only as one of the first cannabis-related brands to go public on the NASDAQ but also as the first to allow Bitcoin and Ethereum as part of our public capital raise.”
While the crypto industry has been the hot topic of the investment world for the last year, the cannabis companies have created their own buzz as well. With Canada becoming the first G7 nation to legalize marijuana and numerous American States doing the same or at least decriminalizing it, huge opportunities open up for a variety of cannabis-related businesses.
The entire ecosystem of medical cannabis researchers, equipment manufacturers, vendors, lab facilities, logistics companies, marketing firms, event organizers and many others is emerging and now might be a great time to invest in a yet another budding industry.
What is more, the cannabis companies are still having a hard time as many traditional financial institutions refuse to do business with them, bearing yet another similarity with the crypto sphere. Thus, the cannabis businessmen often resort to crypto to solve their problems. Both growing industries are in a regulatory grey area right now and we can only hope they survive and thrive further down the road.
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I have been following the crypto markets since mid 2017, just in time to witness the incredible surge of the digital asset industry. Fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology I’ve started to dig deeper and that’s how I ended up meeting the Toshi Times team. I hold a Political Science degree, therefore the crypto regulation development is particularly interesting for me. I’m also heavily involved with music, running my own label, a YouTube channel and working with distribution. People call blockchain the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and I believe it will change our daily lives in the coming years and we will have the front row seats to witness it.