High Times Holding Corporation, the parent company of High Times magazine, announced on Tuesday that retail industry veteran Peter Horvath had been hired as the company’s CEO. Horvath comes to High Times with extensive experience in retail, including stints with Victoria’s Secret, American Eagle Outfitters, DSW, and cannabis firm Green Growth Brands.
Horvath’s experience in retail and e-commerce will be tapped as High Times continues its foray into the regulated cannabis industry. Last week, the company announced that it had entered into an agreement with Arizona-based Harvest Health and Recreation, one of the largest cannabis multi-state operators in the nation, to purchase 13 current and planned dispensaries in California. The deal, worth a reported $80 million in mostly stock, gives High Times a retail foothold in the nation’s largest legal cannabis market in the country. The stores, which will be located throughout the Golden State, will be rebranded with the familiar red High Times logo.
“High Times is a unique brand with an important and rich heritage that deserves amplification and broader reach,” Horvath said in a press release from the company. “I think of brands like Glossier, who first earned high affinity followers through compelling and relevant content, and then demonstrated that you can also serve their followers through commerce.”
High Times has also recently launched a revamped version of its website and made improvements in the layout and offerings of its online store. Last week, the company announced that its digital archive of every print magazine ever published would be available free of charge for registered users through May 20. Horvath said that the company’s following developed over 45 years of publishing experience will be a key to the success of its retail ventures.
“The connection between media and retail is something we need to show respect for and know it’s part of the plan,” he said in an interview with IPO Edge.
Horvath’s resumé will also be an asset as High Times navigates the final days of its Regulation A public stock offering, which has so far attracted more than 27,000 investors. In the mid-2000s, he led DSW’s bid to take the company public and later led quarterly calls with investors following the successful stock offering. Most recently, Horvath launched Green Growth Brands and piloted its listing on the Canadian Stock Market in November 2018 before stepping down in March of this year. GGB operates several brands in North America, including The Source dispensaries in Nevada.
“We are pleased to welcome Peter to the High Times family, and to be able to tap into his wealth of experience capitalizing on major consumer brands,” said High Times Holding Corp. executive chairman Adam Levin. “There are few executives with his retail experience in the mainstream world and, up to this point, none in the cannabis world with such an accomplished background.”
Horvath succeeds former CEO Stormy Simon, who had previously served as president of Overstock.com and started at High Times in January. In February, Simon announced her intention to run for the state legislature in Utah as a cannabis-friendly candidate.
“The team and I would like to thank Stormy for all of her hard work in getting us through this transition period, and we are excited to have her continue working with us on this mission to grow High Times into all the business areas it helped create,” Levin said.