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

WATCH: Alexa And Siri Star In Hilarious New Parody.

Campaign Promotes the National Day of Unplugging 

What if, instead of answering every command, Siri and Alexa encouraged you to try and figure out a few things…yourself? That’s the premise of the humorous new parody which encourages us to rely less on our digital devices, and “Use It Or Lose It.” Award-winning filmmakers Michael Stusser and Marty Riemer (“Sleeping with Siri”) collaborated on the video to coincide with the National Day of Unplugging (March 1st).

“We wanted to do something fun to bring attention to the National Day of Unplugging,” notes Stusser. “I think the notion of having our “Smart Devices” push back a little bit – “Stop asking so many stupid questions!” is a crack-up. It’s the idea that, If you Google everything, you won’t remember anything.”

dayofunplugging

In the faux-commercial, a man (Stusser) is gently coaxed by his various Digital Assistants to try and use his own cognitive skills – so as to continue to sharpen his memory, math skills and sense of direction. The video pokes fun at how reliant we’ve all become on our newfangled smart “assistants” for even the most simple tasks, and warns of the potential for “digital dementia.”

“The main goal of these projects – tech timeouts and digital blackouts – is just to get people thinking about ways to find balance,” states journalist Stusser. “It’s fine to use Siri to call for reservations, or have Alexa order more toilet paper. But, every once in a while, calculate a tip on your own, or try and remember your Mom’s phone number. If you want to go really crazy – how about committing to a device-free dinner?!”

The filmmakers’ documentary “Sleeping with Siri” illustrated the importance of finding balance in an era of digital madness, and won a variety of film festival awards (including The American Documentary Film Festival, Big Easy, and Hollywood Film Fest).  After the success of the doc, the team created The Tech Timeout Academic Challenge, a program which asks young people to set aside their digital devices for up to a week in order to understand and appreciate concepts like using the library, playing board games, and finding your own way home. The program has been conducted in over 1,000 schools across the country, and is the basis for an upcoming follow-up documentary.

Journalist Michael A. Stusser has written for mental_floss, the New York Times, Village Voice and Seattle Weekly. His “Digital Madness”column appears in the Good Men Project. He is also the author of The Dead Guy Interviews (Penguin USA). Marty Riemer, who did the post-production and direction for the video, runs Twisted Scholar, an educational production company. The cinematographer for the “Use It Or Lose It” video is Mark Goodnow, of The Production Foundry.

“Use It Or Lose It” drops in advance of The National Day of Unplugging – which is on Friday, March 1st and 2nd. Now in its 10th year, this tech-free holiday consists of a 24 hour period from sundown to sundown, to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using technology, electronics, and social media. The idea is to disconnect (for a while) from digital devices, and connect with ourselves and our loved ones in real time. 

In the real world, of course, Siri and Alexa will not encourage you to unplug anything. Finding tech-free moments, digital blackouts and screen-free time will only come about by creating those moments for ourselves, one hour at a time, one day at a time. So, why not start now? Why not try the National Day of Unplugging? The mind is like a muscle: Use it… or lose it.

‘Green Buds And Hash’: Pot Activist Under Fire For Dr. Seuss Parody

CANADA:  It’s billed as a playful parody of a Dr. Seuss classic, but not everyone’s laughing.

Pot activist Dana Larsen said he penned “Green Buds and Hash” primarily to educate and entertain adults, but he believes it’s appropriate for all ages.

“Some people tell me they read this book to their children,” Larsen told CTV News. “Those are mostly medical marijuana users themselves who want to explain what cannabis is.”

Like the original, “Green Eggs and Ham,” the book features a narrator who is reluctant to try something new – in this case, marijuana.