High Times Lose CFO Neil Watanabe

The chief financial officer of HighTimes Holding, owner of counterculture pot magazine High Times, has jumped ship after just three months — in the midst of a rocky IPO process.

Neil Watanabe, who was also the company’s chief operating officer, resigned on July 19 “to pursue other business opportunities,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

“There were no disputes between Mr. Watanabe and the company with respect to any financial matters or financial disclosures contained in the company filings with the SEC,” said the filing.

Watanabe did not return an email seeking comment.

The departure comes as HighTimes, which runs pot-themed events in addition to running the magazine, struggles to pull off a money-raise through a mini IPO process.

Even before Watanabe’s departure, there were signs investors were growing restless with the IPO process, which has dragged on for more than a year.

“Where is our stock we bought 8 months ago?,” asked David A. Day, the CEO at New World CBD Distributors.com in a Linkedin comment when Watanabe’s appointment was announced in April. The comment attracted two likes.

Watanabe wrote back: “Hi David, thank you for your investment and patience. This has been a lengthy process, but we are completing the last steps towards listing on a public exchange. We are starting the stock issuance process in the following weeks. Stay tuned!”


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