If anyone needs another sign that Los Angeles could soon become the cannabis capital of the United States, High Times magazine just supplied another one.
The magazine, known for decades as the voice of the pro-marijuana segment of the population, has decided to leave New York City and move to Los Angeles.
High Times has operated out of New York City since its start in a Greenwich Village basement in 1974.
“The center of the cannabis universe has moved to California,” Matt Stang, chief revenue officer at High Times, told Crane’s. “New York used to be a liberal bastion.”
Now, said Slang, New York has fallen behind the times when it comes to the legal cannabis industry.
West Coast Advantages
California led the way on legalizing marijuana in the 1990s, when the state became the first to allow marijuana for medical use in the 1990s. This past November, state voters legalized recreational marijuana.
California joined a handful of other states, mostly in the western United States, that have approved recreational marijuana. They include Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Nevada also legalized recreational marijuana in November.
The two exceptions outside the western U.S. are Massachusetts and Maine, which also legalized recreational marijuana in November.
Many have speculated that with California’s huge population, Los Angeles could soon become the epicenter of the legal marijuana industry (which to this point has been primarily Denver).
In addition to making the move, High Times also has signed with United Talent Agency to develop possible television and movie properties.
“California is the incubation space where all of these new brands will build themselves up to become national and international players in the space,” Stang told Crane’s. “It’s where High Times needs to be as the cannabis movement goes forward.”
High Times History
When it started in 1974, High Times magazine focused on the culture around marijuana. It has since evolved into a magazine and website that features news and entertainment information as well as business-to-business information, particularly on the cultivation of cannabis.
Along the way, High Times has published some of the most notable names in journalism and writing. They include Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote, Charles Bukowski and William Burroughs.
High Times also has expanded its reach. The annual Cannabis Cup awards trade show highlights some of the best products the legal marijuana industry has to offer. The magazine also sponsors an annual business summit designed to connect entrepreneurs, policy makers, healthcare officials and marijuana advocates on issues related to the rapidly growing cannabis industry.
According to Stang, the magazine has taken off with the legal cannabis movement, in contradiction to the overall magazine market. He said subscriptions have doubled in the past year and half and that advertising revenue has also grown.