The way Adam Levin sees it, High Times is a business that has yet to be properly baked.
Two months after leading an investor group that bought Trans-High, owner of the iconic marijuana advocacy magazine, Levin says he's remaking the company to capitalize on the wave of decriminalization laws and increasing acceptance of cannabis consumption.
"High Times really hasn't innovated in the right ways or moved forward with the times," said Levin, an investor in a range of digital properties who runs Oreva Capital, a venture capital firm based in Los Angeles. "But it's always been relevant. If there's is a national brand that consumers think of when they think of marijuana and cannabis, it's High Times."
Levins is the chairman of a new company, High Times Holding, that also acquired Trans-High's events business and a collection of websites in a transaction valued at $70 million.
Joining Levin are about 20 other investors including Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, son of the great Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley and co-founder of Stony Hill (STNY) , a company focused on the cannabis industry. Ean Seeb, a founding partner of cannabis-focused Denver Relief Consulting, is another investor in the newly-formed company.
The transaction comes after Colorado and Washington state legalized the sale of marijuana in 2013 and other states, including California, have taken a variety of steps to decriminalize possession. Legal marijuana sales in North America reached $6.7 billion last year and are expected to triple by 2021, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis research firm.