Scotts Miracle-Gro built a multi-billion dollar business by being a market leader across several categories of the lawn-and-garden industry.
The problem? Those categories weren’t growing all that fast.
To augment sales, Scotts took a page out of Big Beer’s playbook and crafted a wholly owned subsidiary called the Hawthorne Gardening Co. to create and capture portions of the booming urban gardening and hydroponics market — an industry bolstered by home-growers of cannabis.
Scotts’ CEO Jim Hagedorn and his son Chris, who heads Hawthorne, both have put it bluntly: They’re betting big on legal marijuana and believe that with a couple of strategic investments they can quickly build $1 billion in new revenue.
Chris Hagedorn, general manager of Hawthorne, spoke with The Cannabist about Scotts’ plays in hydroponics — moves that analysts say could set the stage for other large companies to invest in the legal marijuana market.