"There is no relationship or collaboration between Spannabis and High Times." The clarification, published in Cannabis Magazine (owned by Feria del Cáñamo SL) at the beginning of February was the response given to news published in High Times. This news claimed that the “legendary Cannabis Cup” of High Times in Spain would be held for the first time at the next edition of the fair, which will take place in Barcelona over the next few days (March 13th, 14thand 15th); its winners would be with the team of this American company “on the main stage during the Spannabis 2020 festival.” This has been denied.
In January 2019, Hightimes Holding Corp announced that it had acquired Feria del Cáñamo SL, owner of Cannabis Magazine and organiser of Spannabis (currently the largest cannabis fair in Europe) for 16 years. The purchase for $3 million cash, $4 million in Hightimes stock, and two $500,000 payments for the 2020 and 2021 fairs included all the web domains of Feria del Cáñamo SL and its trademarks — Cannabis Champions Cup, Cannabis Magazine, World Cannabis Conferences, El Cutivador Prensa Cannabica Gratuita (Free Cannabis Cultivator Press) and the Hemp Guide Spain and Portugal; in addition, it included commercial confidentiality and intellectual property rights and use. Based in Paracuellos del Jarama, Feria del Cáñamo had eight employees in 2018 with an annual turnover of between 1.5 and 3 million euros.
As explained in the financial report for the first six months of 2019, the deal was scheduled to close within a maximum period set on May 31, 2019 but no agreement was reached. "The news about the purchase came out when it was in a former phase of negotiation in which the sale was contemplated, but finally no agreement was reached," point out Feria del Cáñamo SL, who have not given details about the reasons for the closure of negotiations.
High Times is one of the powerful companies in communication and events revolving around cannabis in the United States. Created as a magazine in the Seventies by Tom Forçade, a journalist and cannabis rights activist, it has also been dedicated to the organisation of events since 2010. Its headquarters are currently in Delaware, the US state with more companies per square metre - due to tax and businesses advantages offered, it has 1.3 million companies registered compared to its million inhabitants. In 2018, it decided to expand its business to the world of communication with the purchase of Culture Magazine (a magazine aimed at users of medical cannabis) and DOPE Magazine. But High Times’main income comes from the celebration of the Cannabis Cup and other festivals, which contributed more than $10 million to the company in 2018 - almost 70% of its total revenue.
In its latest financial report, High Times highlighted the purchase of the Feria del Cáñamo (which wasn’t closed) as one of its main stakes - as organiser of Spannabis and the World Cannabis Conference, and editor of Cannabis Magazine - and calculated the Spanish company’s revenue at €2.3 million in 2017.
Behind High Times since it was bought for $45 million dollars in 2017 is Oreva Capital Corp, a company founded by Adam Levin which has Bob Marley’s son Damian Marley among its investors. Last year was a tough one for the company after trying for two years to enter the Nasdaq stock market and sell $15 million in shares to 23,000 shareholders at $11 per share. In December 2019, its shareholders were warned by letter that it was possible that the company's activities could not continue due to accumulated debts in excess of $105 million. In fact, last January it sold the stake at $5.5, with a total of 363,636 shares sold to Rayray Investments Inc, a Canadian investment company specialising in the medical cannabis industry.