Damian Marley buys shares in High Times magazine

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damian-marley-high-times-cover.jpgHigh Times, the magazine that has chronicled the transformation of marijuana use from an underground vice to a major American business, said on Thursday that it had been acquired by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley, son of the reggae star Bob Marley.

The group, led by Adam Levin, the founder of the investment firm Oreva Capital, bought a controlling interest at a price that values the magazine at $70 million, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

In a news release, the new ownership group said it planned to expand the publication's audience and its events business.

"I think most would agree it was not executing business at max potential under the legacy framework established by the founders," Mr. Levin, who will become chief executive of High Times Holding Co., said in a statement. "We are going to build on the strong base they created to bring High Times from the authority in the counterculture movement to a modern media enterprise.

The magazine, which in January moved its headquarters to Los Angeles, had previously been owned by the New York-based Trans High Corp.

Mr. Marley, a reggae artist like his father, noted that he had started reading High Times in high school. "It is now an honour to be a part of the High Times legacy that I've been a fan of for so many years," he said in a statement.

The magazine was founded in 1974 by Tom Forcade as a subversive record of the marijuana counterculture. Whereas Playboy centerfolds displayed buxom women, High Times centerfolds displayed beautiful buds. It offered how-to instructions for growing at home, and even advice on best practices for smuggling marijuana.

These days, as marijuana acceptance has grown and states continue to legalize its use, High Times balances lifestyle writing with more serious coverage of "ganjapreneurs" and the "cannabusiness."

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