Shark Tank caught the world by storm by giving everyday people the opportunity to become entrepreneurial giants in a vast sea of good and really bad business ideas. The ABC reality show began its eighth season on September 23 and the sharks have already weighed in on the investment world in the age of deregulating cannabis.
For those not familiar with the pitch-centered program, entrepreneurs, inventors, and small business owners present their respective ventures to the panel of successful and well-established investors. The sharks will hear the ideas and either declare their offers for a stake in the company or send the participants home in tears with a little more knowledge about the market.
“I would love to invest in the marijuana industry,” says Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary. “I have to hold off for now. I can’t take that risk. I can’t go to jail for being a cannabis investor. My advice to entrepreneurs in this space right now is to stay in the state in which you have your mandate and figure out a way to redeploy your cash because you can’t put in in a bank.”
Real estate magnate Barbara Corcoran would prefer Daisy Cakes, her most successful investment from Shark Tank, make cannabis-infused cakes, but the owner says it could ruin her brand.“I advised her to, but she says it would ruin her brand. She’s mistaken.”
“I have so many investments as it is, I don’t need another one,” explains the Queen of QVC, Lori Greiner. “I’ll let other people deal with that, because it’s not that easy of a space to navigate.”
Robert Herjavec, owner of a successful IT security company, is more philosophical in his view on investing in a marijuana company. “In terms of a business trend, I think it’s already too late to invest. Like any trend, if we’re talking about it, it’s already happened. It’s the old Wayne Gretzky quote, ‘Don’t go where the puck is. Go where the puck’s about to be’.”
“Would I invest in the cannabis industry?” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban asks. “No. Not because I have anything against pot. I don’t care. But right now it’s a gold rush.”
“Plus, Snoop’s in it [laughs]. And if Snoop Dogg’s in it, it’s over for everyone else.”