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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

High Times says "never mind" - now they won't accept Bitcoin for their IPO...

The cannabis industry is no stranger to the cryptocurrency world. In states like the one i'm in (California) where marijuana is legal by state law - it's still banned by federal law.

But because it's still illegal under federal law, banks won't touch the now multi-billion dollar cannabis industry.  They've resorted to a variety of creative solutions, varying from holding mountains of cash in secure locations protected by armed guards, and of course - cryptocurrency.

High Times is best known as a magazine about everything marijuana, but as the product becomes legal in more and more places they're out to take a larger role in the industry, and part of that plan is doing an IPO and becoming listed on the stock market.

Which is why it wasn't a huge surprise a company like High Times would be the first to think of accepting cryptocurrency in their Initial Public Offering (IPO).  Today they have retracted this previous announcement, saying:

"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."

Personally, i'm not buying the "distributed in error" excuse - the press release that said they would accept cryptocurrency even included quotes from the CEO such as:

"High Times has been at the forefront of popular culture for more than four decades. Now we’re 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 Ethereum as part of our public capital raise."

It looks more like they simply just changed their mind. Not to mention, if a press release is sent in error, the correction doesn't come nearly two weeks later.

While they offered no other reasons, Bitcoin was worth $7400 when they said they'd accept it, today (at time of publishing this article) it sits at $6211. To be fair, it's no surprise that volatility scared them away from using it as a source of funding. 

Of course the counter argument would be that when Bitcoin rises again - High Times may seriously regret this decision.
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Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Ross@GlobalCryptoPress.com Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk