High Times
Cover image of High Times' premiere issue, Summer 1974.
Editor-in-ChiefMike Gianakos
Senior Cultivation EditorDanny Danko
Art DirectorFrank Max
EditorAb Hanna
FounderTom Forcade
First issue 1974 (1974-Summer)
CompanyHigh Times Holdings Corp.
CountryUnited States
Based inLos Angeles

High Times is a monthly magazine and cannabis brand with offices in Los Angeles and New York City. The magazine was founded in 1974 by Tom Forçade and the publication advocates the legalization of cannabis. The magazine has been involved in the marijuana-using counterculture since its inception.


The magazine was founded in 1974 by Tom Forçade of the Underground Press Syndicate.[1] High Times was originally meant to be a joke: a single-issue lampoon of Playboy, substituting weed for sex.[2] The magazine was at the beginning funded by drug money from the sale of illegal marijuana.[3] But the magazine found an audience, and in November 2009, celebrated its 35th anniversary.[4] Like Playboy, each issue contains a centerfold photo; however, instead of a nude woman, High Times typically features a cannabis plant.[5]

The magazine soon became a monthly publication with a growing circulation, audited by ABC as reaching 500,000 copies an issue, rivaling Rolling Stone and National Lampoon.[6] In 2014, its website was read by 500,000 to 5 million users each month.[7][8] The staff quickly grew to 40 people. In addition to high-quality photography, High Times featured cutting-edge journalism covering a wide range of topics, including politics, activism, drugs, sex, music and film.[9] Tom Forçade was quoted as saying "Those cavemen must've been stoned, no pun intended."[citation needed] Tom Forçade's previous attempts to reach a wide counterculture audience by creating a network of underground papers (UPS & APS) had failed, even though he had the support of several noteworthy writers, photographers and artists.[10] Yet, through High Times, Forçade was able to get his message to the masses without relying on mainstream media.[11][12]

In January 2017, the magazine announced it would be relocated to an office in Los Angeles permanently.[3] This followed the legalization of marijuana in several west coasts states, including California.[13] Later in 2017, High Times was acquired by a group of investors led by Oreva Capital.[14]

High Times acquired cannabis media company Green Rush Daily Inc. on April 5, 2018.[15] The deal was valued at $6.9 million. Green Rush Daily founder Scott McGovern joined the magazine as Senior Executive Vice President.[16]

Related endeavors[edit]

Recognition and award ceremonies[edit]

  • The High Times Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award has been awarded to Lester Grinspoon (2010), Jack Herer (2011), Keith Stroup (2011), Michael and Michelle Aldrich (2011), Richard Lee (activist) (2012), Vivian McPeak (2012), Dennis Peron (2013), Rick Steves (2013), Chuck Ream (2014), Marc Emery (2014), Steve DeAngelo (2015), James J. Goodwin (2016) and Subcool (2017).
  • Freedom Fighter of the Month awards are awarded monthly in the magazine.
  • Freedom Fighter of the Year is awarded to an activist annually for extraordinary commitment to the cause of cannabis. Winners include Debby Goldsberry (2011), Mason Tvert (2012)
  • Each year High Times inducts a member of the counterculture, living or deceased, into the Counterculture Hall of Fame Award (in Amsterdam).
  • STASH Awards - Significant Technological Advancements in Secretive Horticulture award (September issues)

Film production[edit]

  • Produced the 1978 documentary D.O.A., directed by Lech Kowalski
  • Produced the 1989 documentary Chef Ra Escapes Babylon directed by Scott Kennedy
  • Produced the 1990 documentary Let Freedom Ring, starring Willie Nelson, Gatewood Galbraith, Chef RA and the Soul Assassins, directed by Bob Brandel
  • Produced the 1995 documentary 8th Cannabis Cup, starring the Cannabis Cup Band, directed by Beth Lasch
  • Produced the 1996 documentary 9th Cannabis Cup, starring John Trudell and Murphy's Law, directed by John Veit
  • Produced the 1999 documentary 11th Cannabis Cup, starring John Sinclair and the Blues Scholars, directed by Steven Hager
  • Produced the 2000 documentary Grow Secrets of the Dutch Masters directed by Steven Hager
  • Co-produced the 2002 indie comedy Potluck, featuring Frank Adonis, Theo Kogan, Jason Mewes and Tommy Chong and directed by Alison Thompson
  • Produced the 2003 documentary High Times Presents The Cannabis Cup directed by Steven Hager, distributed by Koch Entertainment
  • Produced the 2003 documentary Ganja Gourmet directed by David Bienenstock and starring Chef RA
  • Produced the 2005 documentary Jorge Cervantes Ultimate Grow DVD, directed by David Bienenstock
  • Produced the 2010 documentary High Times presents Nico Escondido's Grow Like a Pro DVD, Written by Nico Escondido. Starring Nico Escondido. Feature length, educational, HD.

Book publishing[edit]

  • The High Times Encyclopedia of Recreational Drugs. Stonehill Pub Co. 1978. ISBN 0-88373-082-0.
  • Gaskin, Stephen (1998). Cannabis Spirituality: Including 13 Guidelines for Sanity and Safety. High Times Books/ editor Steven Hager. ISBN 0-9647858-6-2.
  • Krassner, Paul; foreword by Harlan Ellison (1999). Pot Stories for the Soul. High Times Books/ editor: Steven Hager. ISBN 1-893010-02-3.
  • Eudaley, Chris (2000). How to Be a Pot Star Like Me: What Every Marijuana Enthusiast Should Know. High Times Books. ISBN 1-893010-06-6.
  • Krassner, Paul (2001). Psychedelic Trips for the Mind. High Times Books/ editor: Steven Hager. ISBN 1-893010-07-4.
  • Hager, Steven (2002). Adventures in the Counterculture: From Hip Hop to High Times. High Times Books. ISBN 1-893010-14-7.
  • Nocenti, Annie; Baldwin, Ruth, eds. (2004). The High Times Reader. New York: Nation Books. ISBN 1-56025-624-9.
  • Bienenstock, David (2008). The Official High Times Pot Smoker's Handbook. High Times Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-6205-9.
  • Lewin, Natasha (2010). The Official High Times Pot Smoker's Activity Book. Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-6206-6.
  • Danko, Danny (2011). The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains. High Times Books. ISBN 978-1-893010-28-4.


  1. ^ Danko, Danny. "Norml Founder Retires – Exhale Stage Left". hightimes.com, January 6, 2005. Accessed 11 September 2009.
  2. ^ Williams, Alex (2016-04-02). "High Times Wants to Be the Playboy of Pot". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  3. ^ a b Romero, Dennis (2017-01-18). "High Times Is Moving to Los Angeles". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  4. ^ Krassner, Paul. "Tom Forçade: Prisoner of Romance" Archived 2009-10-05 at the Wayback Machine. hightimes.com, October 1, 2009.
  5. ^ "High Price Paid for High Times". CNN. 2017-06-02. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  6. ^ Greene, Bob (1987-03-30). "What to read if you just don't say 'no'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  7. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (2014-10-17). "High Times hits middle age: How the marijuana magazine stays relevant". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  8. ^ Yu, Roger (2014-02-12). "For marijuana magazine, high and heady times". USA Today. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  9. ^ Lazaroff, Leon (2017-06-02). "New owner of 'High Times' sees a business ready to be fully baked". The Street. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  10. ^ Cotts, Cynthia (1999-10-26). "Our Buds, Ourselves". Village Voice. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  11. ^ Stroup, Keith (October 9, 2009). "NORMLizer – Here's to HIGH TIMES!". High Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  12. ^ Krassner, Paul (October 1, 2009). "Brain Damage Control: Tom Forçade: Prisoner of Romance". High Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  13. ^ Flamm, Matthew (January 12, 2017). "High Times magazine is leaving New York for Los Angeles". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Smith, Aaron (2017-06-06). "The new CEO of High Times most definitely inhales". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  15. ^ http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2018/apr/04/high-times-acquires-green-rush-estimated-69-millio/
  16. ^ https://www.greenmarketreport.com/high-times-acquires-green-rush-daily-in-all-stock-deal/

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]