As it moves into the business of cannabis retail and hangs out its shingle in the industry, High Times is opening its own brick-and-mortar stores this year. The storied 45-year-old publication advocates for cannabis legalization, Yahoo Finance reported.
Hightimes Holding Corp. announced it would be bringing a flagship retail store to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Each location will provide licensed products, memorabilia, and other cannabis products. They will operate under the logo and name of High Times. The company is looking to announce more locations in the weeks to come.
CEO Stormy Simon told Yahoo Finance, “Now we’re not talking about touching the plant, per se. But the last stages before it reaches a consumer, so delivery, retail, and of course just continuing to connect consumers to the great cannabis brands that are out there.” Simon continued, “It is time for us to start participating.”
Marijuana is legal in 11 states in the U.S. for adults who are 21 and older. And, in 33 states, it is legal for medical use. Illinois, for its part, became the newest state to legalize weed on Jan. 1, and shoppers spent almost $20 million there in legalization’s first 12 days, with the inclusion of $13 million in just the first week.
A disadvantage of strong demand is that there is not enough product. At the same time, different state laws make it a difficult space in which to operate. The news comes after news surfaced in October that the public market for cannabis was off by over 40 percent, even with the industry’s enthusiastic quarterly reports and blazing forecast.
A report pointed to a near-$700 million merger of two American firms that was scrapped. Brian Athaide, chief executive of Toronto marijuana grower Green Organic Dutchman Holdings, told one news outlet, “The capital markets have dried up.” He said at the time that the company was holding off on seeking financing for two buildings.