Cannabis Brand High Times To Become ‘First Ever’ IPO To Accept Crypto

Francisco Memoria
  • Cannabis brand High Times is reportedly going to become the "first ever" to accept cryptocurrencies in its initial public offering (IPO)
  • The move, according to its CEO, is meant to avoid leaving crypto investors out, and to be at the forefront of popular culture.

Cannabis culture media firm High Times Holding, which claims to be the “original voice in cannabis,” has recently revealed it’ll accept bitcoinand ethereum in its initial public offering (IPO), allegedly making it the ‘first ever’ to accept cryptocurrency investments.

According to a post on its website, the firm is set to accept cryptocurrencies as its part of its mission to be “at the forefront of popular culture.” High Times is selling its shares at $11, with the minimum investment amount being of $99. The brand is looking to go public on the Nasdaq exchange, with the ticker “HITM.”

To accept the cryptocurrencies the firm filed a Regulation A+ report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which details a near $29 million negative equity reduction, a decrease in operating losses, and debt reduction.

The Regulation A+ (Reg A+) lets small and early-stage companies access capital in an “alternative to a traditional IPO” that lets them sell shares to the general public and not just accredited investors. According to Nasdaq, the filing lets businesses raise as much as $50 million in a 12-month period from members of the public.

Per High Times CEO Adam Levin, cryptocurrencies created a new “investor base across the world” the company didn’t want to exclude from its IPO. He was quoted as saying:

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.

Adam Levin

High Times was notably launched back in 1974, and is now seen as one of the most important media organizations in the industry, with an online magazine whose “presence [is] still going strong.”

Cannabis and Crypto

Cryptocurrencies have been pointed to as a solution to one of the cannabis industry’s problems. In the US state ballot initiatives made marijuana usage legal, but a number of banks refuse to offer cannabis-related businesses banking services. As a result, these operate only in cash.

Operating this way makes cannabis businesses a target for criminals, and forces them to spend money on security: safes, armored vehicles, guards and more. Given their features, cryptocurrencies could be adopted as a safer and cheaper alternative.

The Dash community has worked to be more involved in the cannabis industry. Last year, dash partnered with Alt Thirty Six, paying it $496,000 to “integrate Dash as a payment option in the cannabis industry’s point of sale (POS) systems.” The move was set to help vendors save 10-15 percent.

Potcoin, a cryptocurrency created for the cannabis industry, made headlines earlier this year after former NBA star-turned diplomat Dennis Rodman appeared on CNN wearing a Potcoin t-shirt.

Brexit Could Give Cryptocurrency Investors Profitable Opportunities, OKEx Says

Prominent cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has recently argued Britain’s exit from the European Union could give cryptocurrency investors profitable opportunities and even be overall beneficial for the cryptocurrency space.

In a Medium post, OKEx noted that markets have been haunted not just by the US-China trade war, but also by the looming threat of Brexit under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in the eyes of most increased the possibility of a No-deal Brexit.

The UK Parliament is set to return from a summer break in the second half of September, and soon after intense debates are expected, between MPs and PM Johnson regarding Britain’s exit from the EU.

The exchange’s post cites a report published by UK-based think tank Institute for Government, which notes the organization believes there’s a big chance the UK will leave the EU without a deal. The potential impact of this on the global economy is currently unknown.

UK’s Economy Already Taking a Toll

It notes, however, the UK’s economy is already showing signs it’s weighting in a No-deal Brexit as its manufacturing PMI remained at 48 in July, a low level it hadn’t seen for six and a half years. The country’s CBI Business Optimism Indicator dropped 19 to -32 in the third quarter of the year, its weakest quarter since late 2016.

Part of the reason the economy’s impact is expected to be massive is the EU is one of the country’s biggest trading partners, with data showing half of the UK’s exports going to countries within the Union.

These factors have impacted the country’s fiat currency, the British pound (GBP), which saw its value fall to a multi-year low against the USD, and the country’s 10-year bond yields have dropped to a record low of less than 0.5%.

Safe haven assets like gold have in the last few years outperformed the FTSE 100, the country’s stock market benchmark index. Bitcoin, which some now see as a safe haven, has also outperformed it in the last few months.

In fact, since the decision to leave the EU was announced, bitcoin’s price has increased by over 1,000%, a nearly unrivaled performance in the financial markets.

Cryptocurrency Opportunities

As OKEx notes bitcoin’s performance is hard to ignore, and there may be a few opportunities in the cryptocurrency space created by Brexit. As negotiations go on volatility in the markets are expected, and the cryptocurrency exchanges notes this, by itself, presents and opportunity for savvy traders.

Crypto traders and traditional money managers could take advantage of these volatile conditions to ride the markets.

Is the UK does leave the EU without a deal, it could help reshape the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms, as the country won’t be bound to the Union’s rules and will likely be more proactive when it comes to innovation to stay competitive.

A study conducted by Cindicator Analysis OKEx quoted shows that 63% of analysts surveyed believe Brexit will continue to be a major source of uncertainty in the market, and more than 73% of those surveyed said they would add cryptocurrencies to their portfolio when risk appetite in the markets is low.

The crypto bets the analysts would make revolve around large-cap coins like BTC, ETH, and LTC. Nevertheless 19% of respondents said they don’t believe the event will have a meaningful impact on the cryptocurrency space, while another 19% believe the impact will be negative for cryptocurrencies.

The study further found 51% believe cryptocurrency adoption has been growing partly because it helps hedge against uncertain economic outlooks, while 15.6% noted adoption remains low and cryptos are still too risky to use as a hedge.