Marijuana was recently voted legal for recreational use in Washington State and Colorado. While regulatory issues still need to be ironed out, rest assured there are many marijuana entrepreneurs waiting in the wings to see how distribution will be handled on a state or even national level. There are literally billions of dollars to be made from the marijuana industry, whether through government taxing it or entrepreneurs selling it.
Whatever your feelings about the most popular recreational drug next to alcohol, it is a societal phenomena that will not go away. Marijuana is de-criminalized in many states, but Washington and Colorado are the first states to fully legalize it. When legalization finally becomes a national policy in the USA, marijuana distribution will shift from an underground, criminal enterprise to a mainstream business. Entrepreneurs poised to reap the benefits of legalization will become wealthy overnight.
Kevin O'Leary likes Marijuana Numbers
This is not lost on the Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary. In a recent broadcast of The Lang and O'Leary Exchange, a Canadian business news television series co-hosted by Mr. Wonderful himself, O'Leary expounds on the benefits of legalization for state governments. He talks about revenue increases through taxation and savings from reduced incarceration rates for folks in prison for simple possession. O'Leary calls it “a really interesting business plan.”
In true O'Leary fashion, he tells co-host Amanda Lang when she brings up stumbling blocks, “forget all about that, Amanda. This is going to be all about money.”
O'Leary makes a compelling argument for marijuana legalization, from a purely financial perspective. This kind of exchange is becoming more and more common in “mainstream” media. Perhaps Mr. Wonderful's endorsement will help the feds and the states see the fiscal light. With all the current budget woes and talks of fiscal cliffs, taxing marijuana is sounding more and more like sound fiscal policy and less like a bunch of stoners rambling about marijuana's many benefits.
Entrepreneurs take note: there will be a lot of money made with new businesses that sprout if and when full marijuana legalization comes to pass. Rest assured, if there is money to be made in the marijuana business, Kevin O'Leary will find a way to get a piece of the action. The question is, will the other Sharks be in or out?
Check out the video of Lang and O'Leary (sound only):