Why You Should Pass on the High Times IPO Grass

July 28. 2020. 4 mins read

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the emergence of companies that build their entire business around newsletters, CB Insights perhaps being the most notable success story. More recently there have been a number of newsletter startups targeting retail investors with a daily “what you need to know,” along with cutesy little office polls where Gwenyth in HR tells you her go-to Taco Bell order.

A few of the more popular newsletters seem to advertise whatever they’re given payment for without considering the novice investors in their audience. For example, one newsletter marketed a machine learning stock trading platform to their readers which was nothing short of total rubbish. We couldn’t help but shine the light on this, but then we realized we’re just as guilty.

We use Google ads as a source of income but have little control over what gets displayed. Lately, we’ve discovered an entire tribe of ambulance chasers trying to peddle their “this little-known 5G stock is about to blow” drivel on our website. (We’ve been trying to clean this up, but it’s so prevalent, we may just have to pull ads entirely.) One ad that’s been coming across our site quite frequently is from Hightimes Holdings Corp, the company behind High Times Magazine and the High Times Cannabis Cup.

The old “buy shares before the IPO” value proposition – Credit: Google Ads

The last time we looked at High Times was back in February 2018 when we authored an article titled “The High Times IPO – Skunk Buds or Brick Weed?” We didn’t like it then, and we don’t like it now.

The Hightimes Holding Corp. IPO

You may have heard the term “fiduciary duty” which means that when you entrust someone with your hard-earned money, they have a legal obligation to act in your best interests. The first thing you’ll notice on the “High Times Investor” page the ad leads to is the prominent “Visa accepted here” logo. Anyone around the globe can buy shares of High Times stock using a credit card. That’s the first clue that these people do not have their investors’ best interests in mind.

It used to be that the only land mines you might encounter as a retail investor were in penny stock land. Today, there is an increasing number of “investments” that do not represent the best interests of retail investors. Regulation A+ offerings and SPACs are both examples of investment vehicles which newbie investors should not be dabbling in. The first problem with buying shares of Hightimes Holding Corp. is that they’re not publicly traded. Shares of any company you invest in are only worth what other people are willing to pay for them, if they are traded on an exchange that offers liquidity. It’s called “liquidity risk,” and the worst type of liquidity risk is having no liquidity.

Says the company, “we are presently in the process of applying to have our stock listed on an exchange under the ticker symbol HITM.” They don’t say which exchange, but elsewhere they mention they’ll trade on an over-the-counter (OTC) exchange – and potentially list in Canada as well, perhaps on the Cannabis Securities Exchange.

Currently, we are awaiting a final response from FINRA, which is the last hurdle needed prior to listing our shares on the OTCQX.

Credit: Hightimes Holding Corp

There is no guarantee the shares you buy will ever be listed, and the fact that they might trade on an OTC exchange sometime in the future isn’t comforting. As we always remind our readers, you should avoid OTC stocks like the plague. There are plenty of other ways to invest in the cannabis industry.

Shares of Hightimes Holding Corp. are priced at $1 apiece to cater to all the uninformed first-time investors who believe a $1 per share is “cheap.” More than 30,000 people have plunked money down on this offering which means they’ve raised $16.5 million at least given the $550 minimum purchase amount. The company values itself at $225 million, an amount that “has been arbitrarily determined by the management of Hightimes Holding and is not based on book value, assets, earnings or any other recognizable standard of value.” Cracking open the Reg A+ Offering Circular reveals an absolute mess.

The Hightimes Reg A+ Circular

First thing you’ll notice is that they have kept the same Reg A+ filing document from last time around so that much of the information doesn’t appear up to date. There’s a section titled “The Hightimes Group has substantial indebtedness and is currently in default in payment of certain indebtedness,” which talks about all the debt they’re unable to service. There’s really no point in reading past that, but then we came across this bit:

As of April 30, 2019, we have received gross proceeds of $15,207,038 from our Public Offering. After payment of costs of the Public Offering of approx. $4,968,000, including marketing costs, fees to our selling agent, professional fees and fees to our escrow agents, Prime Trust, the net proceeds of our Public Offering as of April 30, 2019 were approximately $10,239,000. 

In other words, about 30 cents of every dollar you’re investing in Hightimes Holding Corp. goes towards fees and all the marketing needed to attract Reg A+ investors in the first place. Given their debt-holders now have all the power in this relationship, don’t think they’ll be getting by with any good terms as they try to negotiate their way to survive. If everything goes pear-shaped, the last people in line will be the shareholders.


It seems ludicrous that the SEC lets companies raise up to $50 million using a Reg A+ offering which lets anyone around the globe purchase shares on a credit card for which there is no market to trade them on. We’ve talked before about Why Regulation A+ IPOs Should Be Avoided, and the Hightimes Holding Corp. IPO is no exception.


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  1. I’ve read similar articles about Tesla. If you think High Times won’t own the weed game, you’re out of touch. Read up about all the moves that they’ve been making. They’re smart enough not to hit the market in the middle of a pandemic, but when they do, I’m making a dollar out of 15 cents.

    Ps. They’re about to legalize it.

    1. You’ve said absolutely nothing that addresses points of contention we’ve raised. An unrelated reference to Tesla, talk of “owning the weed game,” and some other random comments aren’t doing much for our readers.

  2. I invested in High Times thinking they would go public by the end of 2020. They have not gone public and there seems no way for me to get my money back.

  3. I had totally forgotten about my “investment” and just recently wondered about it.

    Sounds like it’s never going to happen even in the midst of the pot gold rush.

    How can I get any update on what’s going on, or should I just forget about it, and hope that my Green Organic Dutchman hits the jackpot?

  4. Raise hell man! Don’t let someone pull that crap. Start organizing. Complain. Shout from the rooftops.

    As for TGOD, don’t hold your breath. Looks like miniscule revenues and massive losses thus far.

  5. I had faith enough to invest $11,000in this Hightimes endeavor. I’m losing faith, and now can only hope they will find their way out of this mess they have created, and not sink the ship.

    1. You will only see a return on your money if they have an exit. Barring that, what you have is worth nothing. We’re working on a piece about this now. Investors should only buy shares in companies that are traded on a market, secondary or otherwise.

  6. 11 dollars a share not 1 dollar. I bought some early with no minimum. Worth a shot. I wouldn’t buy with 550 dollar minimum.

    1. It’s not worth a shot. Buying shares in companies that aren’t publicly traded is pissing your money away. Go get a hooker and an eight ball of coke and at least your bad decision will make for a great story.

  7. I purchased $1100.00 dollars of a package deal, pre IPO offering. Waited and waited for the marketing materials and for my framed stock certificate, and my access to large social gatherings, and smaller classes, broken down during these gatherings, to learn all of the opportunities available once the purchase was complete. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING ever showed up to my office. I tried to contact someone at the High Times HeadQuarters, but no luck. I was told later, after a few months passed, that I basically purchased NOTHING. I spent $1100.00 dollars not once, not twice, not three times, but 5 times. I spent $5500.00 with a promise that once the stock offering was completed, my $5500.00 purchase should jump to $24,200.00 To date, I have not seen my investment increase at all. Still no IPO, or any other form of investment vehicle. So, what’s next??? Lawsuit??? Or do I just accept I was scammed, and maybe I throw myself infront of a moving Xpress Train?

    1. You probably need to let that one go and take it as a learning experience. Sounds like you’re not the only one holding worthless stock. Until there is a market for the shares you hold, they are worth nothing because you have no buyers. Perhaps shareholders ought to organize and pressure management into providing an update on when they plan to have a liquidity event. They are under no obligation at all to do anything because they let investors know the risks up front. Few payed attention to what they actually said. This is why we would never consider buying an asset we couldn’t liquidate in a short period of time.

      You’ll forget about this loss ten years from now. But if you’re going to go out in a blaze of glory, do it properly – a penthouse suite in Vegas, a vertical of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a few grams of coke, some high-class escorts, that sort of thing. And if you don’t have the money, SoFi can give you a loan.

  8. I purchased two groups of Hightimes Holdings shares 24 shares then 182 shares. They set up an account with shareowneronline.com to manage investments and my 182 shares disappeared. Tried to get help but all I got was the run around. This is a scam and Hightimes should be avoided at all cost.

    1. If that’s the case then investors should organize and start holding people accountable. Maybe someone can get a Reddit going? Don’t roll over and give up, start being aggressive and vocal. We would suspect there’s little legal recourse because they’re not obligated to have a liquidity event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start putting some pressure on the firm.

  9. damn I was fooled to invest in this bullcrap HIGHTIME for $1500 and forgot all about it. Where are they now currently ?

    1. We’re not sure but doesn’t seem like they ever had an IPO and this mess of a company is now behind on rent. Never, ever buy shares in a company unless they’re publicly traded or you do so through a legitimate secondary market.