High Times’ ambition to become the first IPO to accept cryptocurrency has gone up in smoke.
In early August, the pioneering marijuana counter-culture publication announced it would become the “first traditional stock offering ever to accept investments made in the company through Bitcoin and Ethereum.” But last week, High Times CEO Adam Levin said that was all a mistake.
In a recent SEC filing made public on August 14, Levin says the company’s press release, which had hailed its acceptance of cryptocurrency as “taking another step into the future,” was “distributed in error.”
That may be. It's also possible that, until the SEC makes its position on crypto clear, the magazine wanted to avoid waving any red flags. “As cannabis becomes more mainstream and accepted, it makes sense for the magazine to play by the book and look legit to the investment community—and that means avoiding crypto,” says Jack Tatar, coauthor of the book “Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond."
It's also possible that the recent volatility of the price of bitcoin played a part, too: The company’s SEC filing last week coincided with a significant decline in the price of bitcoin and ether.
After all, why wait two weeks to correct the press release? Here is the part of the story where we wish we could resist the urge to make a joke about people in the marketing department hitting sour diesel on the job.