*See the end of the post for an update on Hager's new plan to create a Pot Illuminati.
*Original Post, Oct. 11, 12:15 p.m.: Do you like weed?
Do you have $250,000?
If you answered yes to both those questions, then you are a candidate for the opportunity of a lifetime, according to Steven Hager, the former editor of High Times magazine. Hager is a shareholder of the esteemed pot journal, and he's selling all but one of his shares for $250,000 each. As of this morning, Hager confirmed to me, he still has two shares left.
“Trust me, once pot becomes legal, the value of these shares will explode,” Hager wrote on his blog, announcing the sale. “Someday, this company will go public, and when it does, anyone holding a share will become rich in the process . . . It's sort of like getting a permanent seat at the Super Bowl of marijuana and gets you amazing perks at High Times events like the Cannabis Cup.”
How Hager came up with the notion that a High Times share is worth a quarter of a million bucks is a bit fuzzy, but he claimed in an email to the New York Observer that there are a total of 67 shares and the company is worth $16 million, so you do the math.
“I am willing to negotiate the price, by the way,” Hager told me.
If you're interested, drop a line on Hager's Twitter feed @stevenhager420.
*Update, Oct. 23, 9:15 a.m.: The bad news is that High Times magazine has purchased all of Hager's shares from him rather than allow him to sell them off to the highest bidder. The good news is that Hager has a new plan to create an exclusive club of pot enthusiasts headquartered in New York. Basically, for a one-time fee of $420, although that's flexible, you can join Hager's secret club and gain membership to a speakeasy type establishment in Manhattan where, just like the good old days, you need to know the password to gain entrance and even the location is a closely-guarded secret.
Here's how the club works, according to Hager:
People send an email explaining their path and what asset they offer the Lodge. If we like the email, we invite them for an interview. If they pass the interview, we invite them to join. When they join, they write their name in hemp ink in the hemp book of records. Like any society there are dues, but we only ask one payment. And you can pay it whenever you like, you just promise to pay it. When you are inducted you must make some donation to the Lodge. But we don't want your money if we don't accept you in the Lodge. We need them money to build the Temple, but it's very, very hard to get in. And money is not an issue, although many are happy to offer it up for the cause.
The $420 fee is flexible, Hager says. If you're poor, $4.20 will work; if you're rich, Hager suggests paying $4200. He's reaching out to old friends and artists including David Byrne and Lou Reed, so if you join, you may bump into some pretty interesting characters. The interior of the club, he adds, will be covered in blank canvas, so artist types can paint the walls whenever they visit.
Finally, if New York is a bit too far for you, fear not. Hager is dreaming big here–and plans to take his Pot Illuminati nationwide. “The idea,” he says, “is to built a network of these lodges so members can find a refuge from the storm wherever they are until full legalization arrives in a few years.”