Hightimes Holding Corp. announced on Monday that the company will suspend the publication of DOPE and Culture magazines due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The novel coronavirus has caused a mass shut down of in-store dispensary shopping as many states move to curbside pickup and online ordering only. DOPE and Culture are primarily print publications that are distributed to dispensaries monthly and, without waiting rooms full of patients and adult-use customers to read or pick up their latest issues, High Times has chosen to shut down both magazines for the time being.
In a statement to Marijuana Moment, Hightimes Holding Corp. Executive Chairman Adam Levin said the publications were on pause amid the pandemic.
“We furloughed the print publishing staff of Dope and Culture till the virus passes. Since both mags are distributed through walk up distribution methods (retailers, pharmacies, etc), we made the decision to suspend publishing till then.” — Levin, via Marijuana Moment
With stay-at-home orders in place and the possibility that the virus could persist for some time, High Times also laid off six workers from the canonical cannabis magazines. Among those furloughed was 18-year employee and long-time editor for High Times Danny Danko, confirmed by his own announcement on Twitter.
The bad news: Due to Covid19 layoffs, my time at @HIGH_TIMES_Mag has come to an end. Thank you to my colleagues for an amazing 18 years! The good news: I’m relaunching the #FreeWeedPodcast! Please support us on our Patreon page by signing up as a patron: https://t.co/2wYbYpLINi
— DannyDanko (@DannyDanko) April 6, 2020
This follows a less graceful downsizing at the Seattle DOPE offices when the majority of the magazine’s employees were abruptly fired. This time, however, the company says their plan is to return all furloughed employees once the outbreak has been contained and the world returns to the new normal.
In the last year, High Times announced it would shift to becoming a plant-touching business with plans to open flagship retail dispensaries in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Despite having disclosed financial hardships with the release of each quarterly statement, the corporation persists and recently acquired the cultivation firm Humboldt Heritage.
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