‘Shark Tank’ Investor Kevin O’Leary Says the Marijuana Industry is ‘Like the End of Prohibition’

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Marijuana is going mainstream.

In November, nine states will vote on whether to legalize pot, reportsBusiness Insider’s Ben Gilbert, and five of those votes will include recreational use as well as medicinal: Massachusetts, Maine, California, Arizona, and Nevada.

If those ballots pass along with medicinal marijuana ballot measures in Montana and Florida, reports Business Insider’s Melia Robinson, those markets will account for $2.7 billion in additional marijuana sales in 2018. Research by Arcview Market Research, a leading publisher of marijuana market research, and its big-data partner New Frontier projects this number to grow to nearly $8 billion by 2020.

At a late September breakfast in Beverly Hills, Entrepreneur’s Kim Lachance Shandrow asked five of the six Shark Tank sharks how they feel about the growing marijuana industry, and whether they’d invest. Shark Kevin O’Leary told Shandrow that if his lawyers allowed it, he’d “love” to invest in the industry:

“This is like the end of prohibition. It’s going to be a remarkable opportunity. The cashflow 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. This is substance that’s been used by humans for thousands of years. It’s stupid what we’ve done to it, and I think it has to be federally legal.”

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