With cannabis legalization popping up all over the country, it’s inevitable that big corporations and industry giants would start paying attention to America’s newest and most lucrative cash crop. It has been a slower transition than expected, with most Big Tobacco and Big Pharmaceutical investors being unwilling to invest too much in something still federally illegal. Meanwhile, the tech industry doesn’t seem to have the same hangups about turning their nose at investing in cannabis like software. Microsoft created a partnership with a company called Kind Financial. Kind provides seed to sale services for the cannabis industry. Sean Parker, former Facebook President, has donated millions of dollars of his own money to help get weed legalized in California this election. We can only speculate the colossal plans he has in store for the cannabis community. The one industry leader that might take the cake when it comes to investing in the future pot market is Scotts Miracle-Gro. There are lots of growers in our community that worry what an industry giant, with questionable ties, might do to smaller companies. Whether we like it or not, Scotts means business.
Scotts Miracle-Gro is a company with multiple billions of dollars, that has big plans for taking advantage of the homegrown marijuana market. Scotts all but took over lawn and garden care, but the growth in those demographics can’t compare to the booming industry that homegrown cannabis is creating. Scotts plans on spending $500 million investing into hydroponics and is already well on their way. They’ve bought out multiple companies, including one for over $125 million. The CEO of Scotts, Jim Hagedorn, expects these huge investments to pan out for him. He believes he can generate $1 billion in new revenue. If the numbers keep trending the way they’ve been going so far, that won’t be too hard for them. Scotts created a subsidiary to do all of its cannabis dirty work called Hawthorne Gardening Company, and Jim Hagedorn put his son in charge of it. He also oversees General Hydroponics, their largest buyout, which has reported an unbelievable 300 percent sales increase from last year.
This investment is already starting to majorly pay off for Scotts Miracle-Gro, but in their defense they invested their first 4 million back in 2013. I find it a bit refreshing that such highly regarded businessmen can be so candid about their intentions to profit from a new market created by legal cannabis. They aren’t afraid to admit that almost all of their hydroponics sales are to cannabis growers. It is nice to be valued customers that are actually catered to for once, but there is also valid concern that these huge companies don’t always have our best interests in mind. The biggest red flag here, is Scotts concerning ties to Monsanto, a company that has made it clear that our health is not their priority. These types of partnerships might be indicative of exactly what everyone in our community is most afraid of, a money fueled industry takeover.