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Miracle-Gro for Cannabis? Scotts Is Investing Big

July 12, 2016

Scotts Miracle-Gro, the $3 billion purveyor of pesticides, fertilizers, soils and grass seeds, has decided that cannabis is a huge opportunity and has begun to buy up businesses that sell to the market. According to a recent article in Forbes, Scotts CEO Jim Hagedorn said, “It is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen in lawn and garden.”

Considering that Hagedorn is the son of Miracle-Gro’s founder Horace Hagedorn, has been running the company since 2000 and is widely credited with driving its growth, that’s saying something. After growing by 80% from 2001 to 2009, the company was stalled by the recession. That left Hagedorn looking for the next big opportunity, which he found while visiting a garden center in Yakima, Wash., in 2013.

The garden center was doing a big business in hydroponics, and the buyers were cannabis cultivators. Hagedorn made a quick decision to go after the cannabis market by investing up to a half billion dollars. He immediately began to remake the company to support the endeavor and thus far has invested $135 million to purchase two California-based businesses that sell fertilizers, soils and accessories to cannabis cultivators and another $120 million for a European lighting and hydroponics equipment firm. He expects to invest another $150 million by the end of 2016.

So, can you expect to see Scotts Miracle-Gro come to dominate cannabis grows in the way it’s become the market leader in consumer horticulture? Probably not as we know it today. While some cannabis cultivators, particularly the home market, already use Miracle-Gro, professional growers tend to use more sophisticated products and often favor their own formulations of nutrients and soil. And their standards and drive for ultra-high quality bud even puts them in a special class within the commercial agriculture market. But if Scotts pursues a strategy of buying established companies with brand following and deep understanding of cannabis cultivation, it could become a major supplier to the industry.

Regardless, Scotts’ belief in the cannabis cultivation market is yet another indication of the industry’s legitimacy.


By Tom Brooksher, Executive Editor
Cannabis Cultivation Today articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal guidance or advice on grow practices. You should contact an attorney or a qualified cultivation consultant for specific compliance and cultivation advice.

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