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

New Frontier Data And MassRoots Join Forces

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: New Frontier Data, a leading provider of data, analytics and business intelligence in the cannabis industry, and MassRoots have announced a partnership designed to “elevate digital marketing practices and better understand social consumer behavior at a pivotal time in the cannabis industry.”

“It is an exciting time in the cannabis industry whereby large financial, research, and consumer-focused enterprises are now looking to understand risks and opportunities stemming from this booming industry. MassRoots is the largest social media platform dedicated to cannabis in the world, with incredible engagement from its members, creating a unique opportunity to learn from them and educate brands, investors, and mature markets entering the cannabis arena,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, CEO and founder New Frontier Data.

“This past year at MassRoots we have been focused on taking our amazing cannabis community to the next level with a new leadership team and its vision to take the company beyond the social media platform and this partnership with New Frontier Data should allow us to achieve that. This industry has evolved from a movement into a thriving market that is hungry for data to serve its shareholders and consumers. Only through the data analytics provided by New Frontier Data and our understanding of our community can we believe we can move this emerging market and pioneering platform forward,” said Scott Kveton CEO at MassRoots.

New Frontier Data’s data engine will enable MassRoots to aggregate, analyze and monetize the large volume of consumer engagement data being collected by the MassRoots mobile application and web portal. By combining MassRoots consumer data with New Frontier Data’s Big Data Engine and market leading industry analytics, we will then be able to generate greater insights into the 3 million users in the MassRoots eco-system and establish correlations between their interests and interactions across multiple channels. This collaboration is expected to will create broader applications allowing for far more sophisticated and targeted digital advertising, as well as more advanced consumer engagement.

MassRoots Files Suit Against Former CEO

COLORADO: MassRoots, Inc., a leading technology platform for the legal cannabis industry, announced that on November 14, 2017 it filed a lawsuit in District Court in Denver, Colorado against its former CEO, Isaac Dietrich. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Dietrich intentionally misappropriated Company funds and engaged in self-dealing by causing MassRoots to make unauthorized payments to him and third parties on his behalf, for his personal benefit, in various amounts totaling in excess of $250,000, which also constituted a wrongful conversion and civil theft of Company funds, and that Mr. Dietrich has been unjustly enriched as a consequence of the foregoing.  The complaint also alleges that Dietrich has intentionally violated the Separation Agreement he signed with the Company.

Scott Kveton, MassRoots CEO, stated “The days of Isaac Dietrich treating this Company like his personal piggybank are over.  It is not surprising to us that only a few days after we filed our lawsuit against him, he filed a preliminary proxy statement with the SEC with the intent to remove the Board and retract the lawsuit against him.  I have faith that the shareholders of this Company will see through this ruse and recognize the folly of putting Dietrich back in charge.”

Kveton continued, “Our last fiscal quarter was the worst quarter MassRoots ever recorded, and it was all Isaac Dietrich’s doing.  Moreover, misappropriation of Company funds and illegal drug use at the workplace are unacceptable on any level.  We intend to enforce the standstill provisions of the Separation Agreement as we believe engaging in a protracted proxy contest now would be a huge waste of our Company resources and a diversion by Isaac Dietrich to avoid the potential consequences of his wrongdoings. We have also been in touch with the appropriate local and Federal authorities on these matters.”

MassRoots To Acquire CannaRegs

COLORADO: MassRoots has announced the acquisition of CannaRegs, a leading technology platform that tracks changes in cannabis regulations and taxation at the municipal, state, and federal levels.

MassRoots, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CannaRegs in a stock deal valued at approximately $12 million. The closing of the acquisition is subject to closing conditions as fully detailed in MassRoots’ Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 23, 2017.

Founded by former Federal Reserve regulator Amanda Ostrowitz in 2014, CannaRegs will be critical in helping the California adult-use market stay compliant. As one of the premier technology companies in the cannabis industry, CannaRegs is recognized for leading the movement with majority female leadership at its helm.

“We hope that this acquisition will expand MassRoots’ compliance offerings, consolidating the most important operations for cannabis businesses into one central platform,” said MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich. “We expect with MassRoots’ resources and relationships, we can grow the number of businesses utilizing CannaRegs and significantly increase MassRoots’ contractually-obligated monthly recurring revenue.”

MassRoots is a cannabis social network that allows users to research cannabis strains and product information, locate dispensaries and products, and read the latest in cannabis news. The CannaRegs software-as-a-service (SaaS) enables dispensary owners, law firms, investors, consultants, and municipalities to track cannabis regulations, both implemented and proposed, in real-time, ensuring they stay compliant with state and local law.

This acquisition, when closed, is expected to cement MassRoots’s consolidation of the business-to-business software market, along with recent acquisitions of Odava, a leading point-of-sale platform for cannabis-related business, and Whaxy, an online menu-management and consumer loyalty platform. When completed, the CannaRegs acquisition will enable businesses to easily update their operational procedures and report to regulators through the MassRoots platform.

CannaRegs Logo

“The cannabis industry is increasingly becoming compliance-centric and even minor changes in municipal regulations can have a significant impact on  day-to-day operations. CannaRegs has made it easy for businesses, regulators and attorneys to track regulatory changes in real-time, often for less than the cost of one billable hour,” said CannaRegs Founder and CEO Amanda Ostrowitz, who is also a licensed attorney. “By becoming part of MassRoots’ expanding portfolio of technology offerings, we will be able to realize strong synergies in the development and distribution of our platform. We look forward to aggressively growing our market share in California and other key markets.”

In California alone, there are 539 local jurisdictions with different regulations, tax rates, and zoning laws related to the cannabis industry. With the upcoming adult-use market set to open in 2018, local jurisdictions are currently writing new regulations and cannabis entrepreneurs are doing their best to stay up-to-date.

For more detailed information, please see MassRoots’ Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 23, 2017.

 

MassRoots Enters Into Definitive Agreement To Acquire Whaxy

COLORADO: MassRoots, one of the leading technology platforms for the cannabis industry, this week announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DDDigtal Inc. d.b.a. “Whaxy” & Cannabuild for $100,000 cash and 2,926,830 million shares of MassRoots’ common stock.

Since launching in May 2016Whaxy‘s menu management and online ordering platform for licensed cannabis businesses has processed over $5 million in volume across 40,000 unique transactions. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.

screenshot-2016-12-17-10-31-57“This acquisition, when completed, will expand MassRoots’ offerings to include a full suite of dispensary software solutions – online ordering, marketing, and real-time inventory management— for cannabis businesses,” stated Isaac Dietrich, MassRoots CEO. “Zach Marburger is a brilliant strategist whom we’ve known for years and Whaxy’s CTO Micah Davidson engineered one of the best technology platforms on the market with a lean budget. We could not be more excited to welcome them to the MassRoots team. Over the next few months, our main focus will be increasing the number of dispensaries utilizing the MassRoots/Whaxy platform.”

“We could not be more excited to be joining forces with MassRoots, enabling Whaxy’s system to scale its transaction volume, provide new capabilities to our customers, and add more enterprise value far more rapidly than we would have on our own,” stated Zach Marburger, Whaxy founder and CEO. “MassRoots comes to the table with hundreds of thousands of end-cannabis consumer relationships, hundreds of dispensary clients, a world-class development team, and one of the largest shareholder bases in the industry. The synergies between our two companies are strong and together, we’re building a cannabis technology powerhouse.”

Whaxy’s platform seamlessly integrates with nearly every major point-of-sale system used dispensaries and will seamlessly connect to the MassRoots network, allowing for live pricing, online ordering, and product feedback. Over the last six months, Whaxy has been used by some of the leading businesses in the industry, including Harborside, GreenHouse, Cresco Labs, and more.

Apple Reverses Course, Allows Marijuana Apps In Marijuana-Legal States

CALIFORNIA:  Months after Apple pulled marijuana user social app MassRoots from the App Store on November 4, 2014, the Cupertino company has reversed course and allowed the app in the App Store as long as its geo-restricted to the 23 states where marijuana is legal, MassRoots founder Isaac Dietrich told the San Francisco Chronicle

“A few hours ago, an Apple representative called to notify us that our efforts were successful: the App Store is permitting cannabis social apps that are geo-restricted to the 23 states that have legalized medicinal cannabis. MassRoots is available for download in the App Store,” Dietrich said.

In a blog post on its website, MassRoots notes that it will be “implementing new features to strengthen our compliance even beyond what is currently required.” 

Currently, the app requires users to login to their account to use the app. When a user registers a new account within the app, it requires location access to verify that the user is in one of the 23 states where marijuana is legal. However, users who register for a MassRoots account on its website and then log into the app do not undergo the state check, opening the possibility for users to lie about which state they’re residing in. 

App Store Denials: Apple Just Says No To Many Pot iPhone Apps

COLORADO:  On the same November day that saw more than 1 million people in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C.,  vote to legalize recreational marijuana, a popular social media app rooted in the cannabis space was removed from Apple’s massive commercial marketplace known as the  App Store.

The App Store is one of the largest content distribution channels in the world, and we’d already been on there for 14 months,” said Isaac Dietrich, CEO of Denver-based social media outfit MassRoots. “After we were taken down from the App Store, I called Apple back on election day and the guy said they had amended the App Store policy on cannabis social apps.

“I told him, ‘You do know that Oregon, Alaska and D.C. are about to push legalization through.’ He said the executives in the App Store said this content isn’t the kind of content they want to see in the App Store.”

Apple told The Denver Post its policies on marijuana apps have not changed. Its  legal guideline 22.1 says, “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users.”