Canadian business magnate and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary said he would never invest in the cannabis market as long the plant remains listed as a Schedule I drug in the United States. O’Leary is known for his expertise in investment strategies—as well as his blunt demeanor.
The reality TV show star rejected the idea of investing in cannabis while it remains illegal under federal law. “Never would I touch this. Never,” O’Leary told Yahoo Finance when questioned about cannabis-related stocks. “When you invest in a Schedule 1 narcotic, you are at risk to breach the RICO statutes of aiding and abetting the transfer of a Schedule I narcotic across state lines.”
Investing in cannabis carries risk, bottom line. Twenty-six years in prison is what’s keeping O’Leary away from cannabis, he said, referring to the potential punishments surrounding investing in an illegal substance. For O’Leary, the risks outweigh the But he said the real opportunity would come if and when medical and recreational cannabis split.
If O’Leary were to invest in cannabis, it would probably be for cannabidiol (CBD) stock options. “What you want in a space like this and what I was hopeful for as an investor was if you could bifurcate the medicinal side of CBD,” O’Leary added. “There’s a lot of interest around the world in using the molecule as a medicinal product away from the recreational product, which is always going to be controversial.”
For now, most American investors are looking at Canadian stocks, such as Tilray. In the United States, stocks such as Canopy Growth Corporation recorded record growth, but that only lends to the idea that there is a cannabis bubble forming, and we all know what happened following the demise of the cryptocurrency bubble.
As chairman of O’Shares ETF Investments, O’Leary will be focused on more stable investment opportunities for the time being, and staying away from the typically volatile cannabis industry.