High Times just bought the Seattle's DOPE Magazine in a deal worth $11.2 million, according to an announcement from the two companies. DOPE was started seven years ago in Seattle and has grown to distribute eight different editions in six different states.
DOPE's founders Dave Tran, James Zachondi, and Evan Carter have ridden the legalization wave, launching in 2011 under Washington's medical market and publishing their glossy magazines into the age of legal weed. Their print editions are ubiquitous at legal pot stores where customers are hungry for product reviews and information to navigate this brand new market. Their issues also give pot advertisers direct access to the modern, legal stoner. The magazine claims they distribute over 1 million copies a year.
This acquisition comes as High Times's new owners try to capitalize on the current expansion of legal pot. The iconic weed magazine was deep in debt two years ago and trying to take a stab at raising money on the American stock market. After that failed, the iconic 45-year-old pot magazine was purchased in 2017 by an investment group that included Damian Marley, Bob Marley's son. These new owners have also recently purchased two other pot media companies this year.
Event promotion plays a big role in the business models of both DOPE and High Times, with conferences and cannabis competitions pulling in extra cash on top of advertising revenue. DOPE's contests have become some of the more respected weed competitions, which probably made the company more enticing to High Times.
The companies said all of DOPE's Seattle employees would keep their jobs in the deal.