High Times Buys Spannabis!

High Times, the oldest and most well-known publication in the cannabis industry have announced they are to acquire Feria Del Canamo, S.L. (also known as Spannabis, the yearly European cannabis fair held in Barcelona) for a cool $7 million (£5.4m). The deal is expected to be complete by the end of March.

Hard times

Operating since 1974, (and originally conceived by an outlaw cannabis smuggler) the company was hit by a $2.9 million loss for 2017, a substantial difference to 2014 figures that showed a profit of $3.4 million, according to data from Bloomberg.

High Times have apparently been struggling with competition from other new cannabis publications that have entered the market over recent years during increasing cannabis legalisation changes in the US and throughout the world.

However, “High Times is like the North Star that all the other magazines followed,” says media analyst Samir Husni, “When High Times first published, it was the only one of its kind. It survived FBI raids on its advertisers. It was the trailblazer.”

Over the years it has managed to retain more than 200,000 print subscribers and also has a significant following online, so there’s clearly life in the brand yet.

We do know that High Times was a victim of one of Google’s recent updates, though, losing huge amounts of daily traffic from the monopolistic US search engine as its supposedly intelligent algorithms shred websites at its whim. See below.

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High Times Google Traffic by SEMrush

New direction

Already well known for being ‘the EU’s largest cannabis event,’ Spannabis will take place in Barcelona for the sixteenth time this year on March 15-17. The popular annual event, which includes awards ceremonies and musical performances as well as industry talks usually attracts tens of thousands of international cannabis consumers and seedbanks as well as seasoned weed industry professionals.

This purchase will create new commercial opportunities for High Times and their clients in the European cannabis market.

This deal is a game-changer for Spannabis,” says CEO Carlos Palomino. “We’ve idolized High Times for decades, so to be adopted by this groundbreaking team is nothing short of extraordinary.”

Not the first purchase of this type, last December saw the group that owns High Times announce the acquisition of ‘the BIG Show’, a major US cannabis trade show that is held twice a year in Miami and Los Angeles.

Bob Marley connection

Interestingly, High Times recently changed hands for $70 million and is now owned and controlled by a group of 20 investors that includes Bob Marley’s youngest son Damien ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley! Who could have imagined Bob Marley’s family becoming connected with Spannabis in such a way?

Spannabis is one of the most prolific events in the cannabis ecosystem and one of the most well-known annual festivals within the EU,” said Adam Levin, High Times’ CEO.

This acquisition will provide an additional international platform for our customers looking for additional international exposure opportunities.’

We would like to warmly welcome Damien Marley and his friends to Europe! Let’s hope that Spannabis works out well for all of them.

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