How Shark Tank's Kevin Harrington plans to bring Cannabis products to mainstream media like 'As seen on TV'
Famed entrepreneur Kevin Harrington, the original Shark on ABC’s "Shark Tank" and creator of the infomercial brand As Seen on TV, has been involved in the cannabis space for a few years now, serving as a strategic advisor and brand ambassador for cannabis holding Cannapreneur Partners and its portfolio companies. (Benzinga)
Harrington, who is personally invested in the company, helps steer the business through the murky waters of the consumer packaged goods category. He is also in charge of identifying potential investment targets, a talent he is famous for.
“Cannabis is a growing industry, it’s very exciting for an investor, for an entrepreneur like myself,” Harrington explained during an exclusive conversation. “When I look at the whole industry, I see that cannabis is a problem-solving kind of product. And I'm in the business of solving problems, as you know.”
And he added, “I've been involved in pretty much every industry, housewares, hardware, fitness, golf, fishing, toys, beauty, you know, I could keep going… So I think what this has given me is a tremendous relationship with manufacturers all over the world. Products need to be manufactured, they need to be engineered, prototyped… All of that is very important to be able to make a good quality product with very low returns and problems, and at the right price, so you can make margin and be profitable."
Proficiency and scale, he continued, are key elements to commercial success.
Bringing up a conversation I had with Harrington a couple of years back, I asked about what he considers to be one of his strongest business abilities: finding customers.
Many of Harrington’s ventures relied on traditional media, TV, newspaper ads, infomercials, etc., to get their products in front of people. But cannabis cannot, for the most part, be advertised in the same way.
I wondered how he plans to work around these well-known limitations.
Thrilled with the question, he answered unhesitantly. It was clear he’d already given this matter much thought.
“As we look at the cannabis space, there's blacklisted products for Facebook and Instagram, etc. So we actually have now also invested in an ad network that is for blacklisted products,” he said. “This has been a big challenge for many companies.”
Fortunately, The Shark likes a good challenge.
When prompted about cannabis products being sold on As Seen on TV-style shows, the entrepreneur once again jumped at the query, explaining hemp products are already being sold that way.
“I do believe that, at some point, more and more kinds of cannabis products will eventually find their way into mainstream media,” he voiced. “As we start doing some of these blacklisted exchanges and things like these, we're going to be breaking some new ground and it may open the eyes of some of the others out there.
“As more states ‘recreationalize’ the laws, I believe the federal situation is going to change also. So I just think that it's the people that get in on the ground floor now that are forming the relationships and the distribution networks. This is a chance for us to do some learning, and connecting, and planting a lot of seeds. And yes, we will also be building some businesses and making some money along the way.”
by Javier Hasse