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High Times accepting cryptocurrency for IPO

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Hightimes Holdings has apparently dodged a bullet as one of its key lenders is going to extend a deadline for an $11.5 million debt payment that is due on Aug. 28.

The publisher of the 45-year-old pro-weed publication High Times is in the midst of trying to raise money in an IPO and, on Aug. 2, began accepting two cryptocurrencies — bitcoin and ethereum — for investment as part of its effort.

ExWorks Capital — the same company that forced Penthouse Media into bankruptcy last year — agreed to extend the due date of an $11.5 million secured debt that was originally due on Aug. 28, according to a Hightimes Holdings spokesman.

The company is trying to go public through an offering known as a Registration A+ — in which the SEC allows fledgling companies to raise public funds without doing a formal IPO prospectus.

Investor Adam Levin, who headed up a $42 million takeover in June 2017, said the company is looking to raise anywhere from $5 million to $50 million.

The new owners are hoping to take the mag from its hippie roots. It was founded by activist-journalist and self-described pot smuggler Tom Forcade in 1974.

He committed suicide in 1978, and HT was run by a foundation until it sold majority control to the investment group last year. With recreational marijuana now legal in eight states, the new owners want to transform it into a modern media business with events and brand extensions to augment the magazine.

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