Higher Ground Holdings To Aquire High Times & Industry’s Top Cannabis Content

Sale Price: $9340 (plus unopened box of Dead bootlegs).

Re-Branded Venture to be called High Leafly Cannabis Culture Times 

HOLLYWEED, CA: In a stunning move, the world’s largest satirical cannabis conglomerate, Higher Ground LLCBD, announced the purchase of dozens of cannabis sites and magazines this week, aggressively moving to centralize stoner cliches in one place.

Speaking at MJ BizCon in Las Vegas, CEO Michael A. Stusser said the deal had been a long time coming. “How many stories about Seth Rogen or close-up pics of stank bud do you really need?” Stusser exhaled. “Our acquisition will enable us to consolidate the various marijuana brands – and by that I mean snuff ‘em out like a smokin’ roach.”

In obtaining High Times Holding (publisher of High Times magazine, Culture, Dope Magazine and Green Rush Daily) Higher Ground will have the chance to corner the “boobs and bongs” market (aka weed porn), along with re-licensing dozens of Cannabis Cups to Starbucks. Among those snapped up in the take-over were magazines and “lifestyle brands” Marijuana Business Daily, Sensi, Skunk, Grow, Marijuana Venture, Merry Jane, mg Retailer, Civilized, the Fresh Toast, Herb, CULTURE, Green Entrepreneur, Ganjepreneur, Freedom Leaf, Gossamer, Broccoli, Cannabis Now and MassRoots, allowing Higher Ground to control the vast majority of cannabis content, and assure the number of puns and cliches to go up in smoke.

In the first official move after the purchase, Stusser instituted what is known as The Tommy Chong Rule: In order to modernize and reach new demographics, the Cheech & Chong legend is banned from appearing in any additional marijuana media until the year 4020. Future bans said to include Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Whoopi, Martha Stewart, Joe Rogan, Bill Maher, Miley Cyrus and Chelsea Handler. (Not mentioned: Rihanna, Jason Silva and, surprisingly, Woody Harrelson.) 

highergtv logoReportedly, Higher Ground Holdings wanted to keep the transaction under $10,000 to avoid a Federal SAR (Suspicious Activities Report) filing by the bank.  “We spent about $9500, and traded away some valuable assets.” (Rumored to be a box of Jerry Garcia bootlegs on 8-track cassette.) “Basically, we bought a database of every single person who’s ever fired up a fatty,” said Stusser. “We’ll send ‘em all a copy of Fertilizer Today, our agribusiness trade title – which we also own – and are currently shopping…” Official figures could not be independently verified. When reporters asked for documentation, Stusser said he would share them at the Grasslands VIP Party, but then asked assembled press if anyone had tickets for said event.

“Our goal is to offer customized mainstream video content productions and licensed extensions for cannabis service agencies across the sub and pop-culture spectrums,” said Al Olson, Higher Ground Editor-in-Chief. “And get into the whole CBD-thing, whatever the hell that is. Hemp too!”

An unnamed source also reported that Leafly, owned by Privateer Holdings, was thrown into Higher Ground’s aggressive take-over at the last minute. The insider said the site and app was ditched in order for Privateer to concentrate on making an actual profit – emphasizing their stable of weed-growing companies, including Tilray. Tilray’s partnership with brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev makes them less interested in un-profitable pot content. Of the deal, Privateer’s non-cannabis using billionaire CEO Brendan Kennedy said, “Oh, thank god. We’ve been wanting to get Leafly off our books for a decade now, and keep our focus on the beer bong business.”

“We also tried to buy Future State Brands (PROHBTD), MedMen (Embers) and Civilized (New Frontier Data),” noted Higher Ground’s CFO “but by the time we got the paperwork lined up, they’d all burned through so much seed money, they had to abandon their swank offices – and we had no way to reach them.” In a related non-move, Canna Law Blog was NOT acquired in the deal, as they are…well, lawyers, and have positive cash flow.

Michael Stusser and Higher Ground TV captured this year's Hot Pot Products

Michael Stusser & Higher Ground TV: This Xmas We’re Banning Tommy Chong!

Higher Ground’s blockbuster acquisition was announced at the Vegas trade show, MJ Biz Con. BizCon parent company MJ Biz Daily was ALSO swallowed up in the mega-deal. “With a hostile hippie takeover of MJ Biz Daily, we can consolidate all these dope-fiends under one tent – literally,” noted Stusser from his small mid-aisle booth at the trade show. “I mean, The Emerald Cup, CannaCon, CHAMPS, the Cannabis Congress, New West Summit!? Hempfest! How many places do these potheads need to buy a glass pipe, anyway?”

Like so many of the recent corporate buy-outs of alternative weeklies across the country, the Higher Ground deal seems similarly nefarious. “Our main goal, of course, is to fire as many good reporters as possible,” Stusser explained, “and get down to the real business of being stoned to the Bejesus. Frankly, we’d like to sell the whole she-bang to the Huffington Post. We always wanted to be called The Puffington Post – and this is our chance.”

Officials at High Times Holdings were not available for comment. When reporters tried calling the phone number listed in SEC documents, a recording with Bob Marley’s “ Waiting in Vain” played. The mailbox was full. No additional calls to media companies or employees were made before press time.

Higher Ground is a global viral marketing company focusing on Elevating the Dialogue on Cannabis Culture. (Kind of….) Their flagship show is described as “The Daily Show meets Good Morning America, just with a giant bong on the desk.” For more information about the mega-merger, visit www.highergroundtv.com or www.michaelstusser.com

HONU Wins “Best Cannabis Brand Design” 2016 in MJBA/OMD Poll.

WASHINGTON:  Cowlitz county Tier 3 producer HONU was named “Best Cannabis Brand Design 2016” in an online poll published by Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Online Marijuana Design (OMD Agency).  More than 1500 votes were cast in the MJBA/OMD Facebook Survey, which asked cannabis industry participants to vote for the best cannabis brand designs of 2016.

HONU’s Hawaiian-flavored design featuring a stylized sea turtle garnered the brand a total of 245 votes.  “Turtles have always been important to the local Hawaiian people as they provided spiritual influence, tools, food and clothing. But the Hawaiians never “took” from the turtles lightly, they always revered the turtles,” the company’s website proclaims. “We have chosen this as the name for our business as it embodies what we hold sacred as a team.”

honuteam

Results of the vote were announced at the recent “HOT BOX: The Best Marijuana Design and Packaging 2016” seminar in Tacoma. Team Honu was on hand to accept the award from MJBA founder/executive director David Rheins.  The Hot Box seminar took place June 2, 2016 in the historic Union Bank of California building in Tacoma, WA.

The event was produced by the Marijuana Business Association. Online Marijuana Design was the event’s presenting sponsor.  VIP Sponsors included Great Pacific Packaging, DCG One, PrintWest, Pearson Packaging, 420WholesalePack.com, Tryst Print Solutions, Foundry Law Group, Farmer Tom, NWMJLaw, Higher Ground TV, Curved Papers, Guts and Glory, Ganjapreneur, 420Media and Freedom Leaf.

Second place with 186 votes went to Renton, WA retailer Buddy’s. The jazz-themed pot shop was named after proprietor Myles Kahn’s grandfather, Buddy Kahn, a famous Salsa musician and band leader. The hip design of the company’s branding, with a strong retro music feel, was crafted by Guts and Glory creative director Michael Guttsen.

Buddys Poster

With its dramatic Italian glass jar, and a ‘fresh-picked locally’ design approach branding, Tier 1 producer Green Bluff Greenhouse took third place with 157 votes. Specializing in rare, old school Sativa’s, the small grower is quickly gaining a big reputation for quality. Green Bluff owner Rick Lynn Roening was on hand to accept the award.

Dramatic Italian glass jar Green Bluff Greenhouse

Dramatic Italian glass jar Green Bluff Greenhouse

Fourth place went to Tier 2 indoor producer SKöRD Marijuana, whose bold black and cream design and iconic umlauts proudly resonate with Scandinavian heritage.   The company produces flower, concentrates and infused edibles.

skord marijuana logo

Rounding out the Top 5 Best Cannabis Brand Design of 2016 is Curved Papers.  With an “Easy To Roll” theme and a eco-friendly minimalist package that emphasizes the brand value – a new shape for rolling papers that is a true innovation.

curvedpapers3

Company founder Michael O’Malley and his daughter Grace were on hand at the Hot Box seminar to accept their award.

Curved Papers' Michael and Grace O'Malley

Curved Papers’ Michael and Grace O’Malley

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4uF4k6ZPMQ&w=560&h=315]

 

VIP Speaker And Sponsor Lineup Announced For HOTBOX: The Best In Marijuana Design And Packaging 2016

WASHINGTON:  The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Online Marijuana Design (OMD) have teamed up to present HOT BOX: The Best In Marijuana Design & Packaging 2016, at the historic Union Bank of California Building, 1011 Pacific Avenue, in Tacoma WA,  Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 10-4:20PM.

According to the event’s organizers, the design and packaging of cannabis product packaging is of paramount importance to marijuana marketers trying to distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace.  “Your packaging communicates product quality, brand personality and value,” MJBA Executive Director David Rheins told MJNN. “We’re excited to show off examples of the best design and packaging work being done in the legal cannabis industry today.”

hotboxhighergtvpostcardsmallMJBA and OMD have today announced the lineup of featured speakers and VIP Sponsors.  Washington’s top cannabis marketers, brand creatives and packaging professionals will explore industry best practices and showcase the best examples of brand, design and packaging on the legal market today participate in a full-day of panel discussions and featured presentations.

HOT BOX VIP SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS

CREATIVE PANEL

Michael Guttsen, Guts & Glory; Jared Mirksy, Online Marijuana Design; Patrick Bennett, Bennett Photo/Motion; Michael Stusser, Higher Ground TV

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS CASE STUDY

Madhu Singh, Foundry Law & Myles Kahn, Buddy’s 

“Visual Madness: From the Devil’s Harvest to Cannabis Connoisseur”

 Michael Stusser, Higher Ground TV

PHOTO GALLEY EXHIBITION

 Patrick Bennett Photo/Motion Gallery Show

BRAND MARKETER PANEL

Adam Smith, Avitas; Graham Sorkin, Mary’s Medicinals; Kevin Oliver, Washington’s Finest Cannabis; Tom Lauerman, Farmer Tom Organics; Kimberly Ott, Green Lion Industries; Michael O’Malley, Curved Papers

PRINT & PACKAGING PANEL: Linda Kepper, DCG One; Jason Lammers, 420WholesalePack.com; Phillip Parrish, PrintWest; Rob Griswold, Trysk Print Solutions

COMPLIANCE LAW REVIEW

Anne Van Leynseele and Aaron Pelley, NWMJ Law

MODERATION: David Rheins, MJBA

SPONSORS: Online Marijuana Design (Presenting) Great Pacific Packaging, NWMJ Law, Trysk Print Solutions, DCG One, PrintWest, Foundry Law Group, 420WholesalePack.com, Curved Papers, Farmer Tom Lauerman

MEDIA PARTNERS: Ganjapreneur, Higher Ground TV, 420MEDIA, Cannabis Daily Record, MJNewsNetwork

Advance Tix on sale now:

 

Making A Business Out Of Marijuana Isn’t Easy

OHIO: Running a marijuana business is more than a pipe dream, says Justin Breidenbach: It’s about taxes, banking, liability, supply and demand.

Breidenbach, an associate professor of accounting at Ohio Wesleyan University who has been studying the economics of pot for two years, concludes that there’s potential for big money to be made if Ohio legalizes pot on Nov. 3. But, he says, marijuana entrepreneurs might go through a minefield to get there.

“There are many misconceptions about how this industry operates,” Breidenbach said. “Many believe this is a new-age gold rush. While some companies are doing well, there are just as many that are struggling to keep their doors open. If Ohio is to legalize marijuana, it is important for people to understand how this industry will operate and navigate the many hurdles to stay afloat.”

Breidenbach visited growers, processors, shop owners and others in the marijuana business in Washington, one of four states plus the District of Columbia where marijuana is legal for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Some Washington businesses are losing money, even going under, in part because of federal tax-code provisions prohibiting tax deductions for expenses related to illegal products, which marijuana is under federal law.

 

Marijuana Entrepreneurs Line Up to Cash In

WASHINGTON: Jim Willett has never smoked pot. His teenage sons think he’s a square. A former Navy pilot, Willett spent a year flying drug interdiction patrols along the Washington coast, checking for ships carrying bales of marijuana. For the graying retiree, voting against the state’s legalization of recreational weed last fall was pretty much a given. [Read more…]

Marijuana Entrepreneurs Line Up to Cash In

WASHINGTON: Jim Willett has never smoked pot. His teenage sons think he’s a square. A former Navy pilot, Willett spent a year flying drug interdiction patrols along the Washington coast, checking for ships carrying bales of marijuana. For the graying retiree, voting against the state’s legalization of recreational weed last fall was pretty much a given. [Read more…]