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High Times Now Says It's Accepting Crypto Payments For Its IPO

It turns out that the cannabis publication High Times is accepting cryptocurrency for its ongoing initial public offering (IPO) after all.

The publication announced at the beginning of August that it would accept bitcoin and ethereum for its IPO, but later walked back that announcement in an August 13 filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as previously reported by CoinDesk.

Despite the move, however, bitcoin appears to have remained as a payment option on the company’s investment page.

When reached for comment, High Times representative Jon Cappetta confirmed that the company is, in fact, accepting bitcoin and ethereum as payment options. Cappetta told CoinDesk that the regulatory filing was made “to make the SEC happy.”

“Yes, technically we are accepting bitcoin and ethereum,” Cappetta told CoinDesk. However, High Times is not taking or holding any cryptocurrencies – rather, a third-party processor called Fund America is taking the two cryptocurrencies and converting into U.S. dollars, which the company will then receive.

“On the legal side, it’s a lot of jargon. There’s no real easy way to spell it out. They issued the release to make the SEC happy,” he said.

He explained:

“We’re accepting [cryptocurrencies] as a payment option, but technically Fund America takes the bitcoin and ethereum … It’s similar to the way if we were doing an international IPO, and we were accepting the pound or the euro, those guys aren’t accepting that money, they’re converting it to [dollars].”

The reason for the earlier walk-back was due to concerns expressed by the SEC after the company initially said it would accept bitcoin, which mainly revolved around whether High Times would directly receive cryptocurrencies, he said.

“The reason we got slapped by the SEC last time is because we were accepting it … similar to a credit card processor … [however], it gets transferred to cash and we get that, we’re not explicitly holding [cryptocurrencies],” he said.

High Times’ IPO itself is going well, Cappetta said, and the company is looking at a direct listing as a result.

“The Regulation A [fundraising] is going to close on the 12th of this month, and then from there we will begin the listing process,” he said.

Hat tip to Scott.

Image Credit: FOOTAGE VECTOR PHOTO / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Pot Publication High Times Now Says It Won't Accept Bitcoin in IPO

Marijuana advocacy publication High Times is walking back a previous announcement indicating that it would accept bitcoin when it launches its initial public offering (IPO).

The company said last week that it would accept bitcoin and ether – the cryptocurrency of the ethereum network – as part of its IPO, which seeks to raise as much as $50 million. At the time, according to a press release, CEO Adam Levin said the company was “taking another step into the future, not only as one of the first cannabis-related brands to go public on the Nasdaq but also as the first to allow bitcoin and ether as part of our public capital raise.”

However, on August 13, it clarified in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that this announcement was a mistake, and the company would not actually be accepting bitcoin.

“On August 3, 2018, the Company published a press release relating to its Regulation A+ offering stating that it would accept bitcoin as a form of payment for subscription to the Company’s shares,” the filing said, adding:

“This press release was distributed in error as the Company will not be accepting bitcoin as payment for shares. As provided in the Company’s subscription agreement related to the offering, the Company will only be accepting check, credit card, ACH or wire transfer as payment for subscription to shares.”

The filing notably did not mention ether, the other cryptocurrency listed in the press release. High Times did not respond to a CoinDesk request for comment about the omission by press time.

The IPO will remain publicly available through a Regulation A+ exemption, allowing retail investors to purchase High Times’ common stock. The sale will close either when the company raises the target $50 million or on September 12, the planned end date.

Marijuana farm image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.