Over the course of the past year and a half, surely you’ve watched more TV than you’re normally used to. The pandemic closed down all restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, and so on to leave us with nothing to do but sit at home with the TV on. All of us at Pacific Seed Bank are massive fans of the show Shark Tank but we have to wonder why we don’t see any marijuana products being invested in…Why is that?
To answer our question, we did a fair bit of research to look for interviews and pull quotes from the six Sharks: Mark Cuban, Kevin ‘Mr. Wonderful’ O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec. Here’s what each Shark had to say about investing in marijuana products.
“I would love to invest in the marijuana industry. I’ve looked at four different deals, but my lawyers tell me I can’t because we need a better mandate,” he told Green Entrepreneur. “There’s a RICO statute in the way. I’ll land my plane in Florida and I’ll get arrested because I invested in something in Colorado. I can’t do it.”
“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 it in a bank.”
“This is like the end of prohibition. It’s going to be a remarkable opportunity. The cash flow in Colorado is three times what they thought it was going to be. They did the right thing by legalizing it and it’s now a huge cash crop. People should not be going to jail for marijuana.” Well said, Mr. Wonderful.
While she may not partake in marijuana products herself, Barbara is a firm believer in the overall industry and would like to invest.
“I tried it twice. The first time At 35 and again 10 years later. It was weird and not for me, but it’s big business and I’d rather invest in it. I tried it twice. The first time At 35 and again 10 years later. It was weird and not for me, but it’s big business and I’d rather invest in it.”
“Pot’s a big business. People know what the profits are going to be, so I think hitting it fast and early is the number-one prize. What’s going to destigmatize marijuana is having the old people die off. Anyone who’s under 30 believes in it.”
At this point, it sounds like the Sharks believe big money can come from marijuana products…but until they are legalized on a federal level, the lawyers and producers connected to Shark Tank may not want it on the show.
“I have no problem with it. I think anything to legitimize any kind of substance that used to be illegal is great because I think you always want to take the criminal element out of it, and I like things that are regulated.
“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.”
“I would invest, but I don’t know anything about it. It’s just not an area that I understand. I like to invest in things where I understand the tipping points and what’s going on.”
Hold up—not so fast! Just when we thought all the Sharks would be on board with investing in marijuana, Mark jumps in with a big fat no…at least for the time being.
“Would I invest in the cannabis industry? No. Not because I have anything against pot. I don’t care. But right now it’s a gold rush. When everybody’s rushing in it’s hard to keep track of what everybody’s doing because there’s a new startup every single day. I think the oversaturation of the market creates a very difficult challenge.”
“I always look at investing in businesses where I have a competitive advantage, and smoking it is not a competitive advantage, then it’s not something that I’d get into. There’s a saying that I live by: ‘First there are the innovators. Then there are the imitators. Then there are the idiots.’ The three I’s. You have to know which one you are, and I think already in the cannabis industry, we’ve at least gotten to the imitators and we may already be to the idiots.”
As for Lori, she has nothing against marijuana products, per se, it’s just that she’s so busy with other investments that she doesn’t have the time.
“What’s crazy is everything changes with the times. I think, look, if it’s medical marijuana and it helps people, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think whatever helps people to feel better, especially if you’re not feeling well for a medical reason, it’s OK. I mean, a lot of people are making a lot of money with it, and I’m not one to judge.”
“Everybody should be able to do it legally. Would I invest in it, though? I don’t know. I have so many investments as it is, I don’t need another one. I’ll let other people deal with that, because it’s not that easy of a space to navigate.”
Hmmm…out of all the Sharks, Daymond is the only one who has not publicly commented on investing in marijuana products. We can’t seem to find a single interview on the internet that covers this topic. He’s given plenty of advice to entrepreneurs in the past but never about marijuana specifically. In a YouTube video, Daymond did give a shoutout to Cannabis Training University’s CEO, Jeff Zorn for his charitable work and giving back to his community. No word about investing, though.