UTA Signs High Times (Exclusive)
It's the first official cannabis client for a major Hollywood agency.
UTA has a dope new client, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.
The agency has signed High Times, the premier content company dedicated to marijuana for more than 40 years. What started as a print magazine in 1974 has expanded into digital, social and video platforms as well as the Cannabis Cup and High Times Business Summit event series. In a first such pairing between a cannabis-based business and a major Hollywood talent agency, UTA will represent High Times across film, television, digital, consumer products, licensing, games and premium brand sponsorships.
"As the authoritative voice of authentic cannabis culture for more than forty years, High Times remains committed to producing cutting-edge content that educates, entertains, enlightens and inspires when it comes to marijuana," High Times COO Larry Linietsky said Wednesday in a statement. "High Times is proud to be aligned with UTA as we expand our leadership role in this fast-growing market."
The move comes after the New York-based company opened its second location, in Los Angeles, in June and hired David Bienenstock as its first head of content. High Times also has recently partnered with New Frontier, a big data firm focused on the marijuana industry, and with sparks & honey, an advertising and intelligence agency (not specifically pot-focused), to lend research insights to its ongoing coverage of all toking topics.
Speaking of which, Hollywood also has recently been jonesing for doobie-related TV. Kathy Bates will star in Netflix's Chuck Lorre comedy Disjointed, while Margaret Cho will headline Amazon's Highland and Snoop Dogg will guest star on MTV's Mary + Jane. Meanwhile, HBO will premiere High Maintenance, which started as a Vimeo web series, on Sept. 16 and Naomi and Adam Scott are developing Buds at NBC. And proving that not all hash is ha-ha, John Malkovich will star in Humboldt, a drama about a real-life town that subsists on the marijuana trade, which is set up at Sony Pictures TV and will soon be shopped to premium cable and streaming networks.
Bienenstock, who is based in L.A., said in a statement, "With society finally moving past the days of Reefer Madness and into an exciting new post-prohibition era, our partnership with UTA will allow High Times to harness the creative acumen and media access of one of the world's largest and most dynamic talent agencies in order to create feature films, scripted and unscripted TV shows, video content, apps, games and experiential programming that reflects our shared vision."