The US cannabis industry is flush with fledgling companies and many unfamiliar brands.
In that mix, however, is a 154-year-old company that is a household name: Scotts Miracle-Gro ().
Over the past decade, the lawn and garden giant has quietly entrenched itself in the young and fast-growing industry. Its Hawthorne Gardening Company subsidiary has scooped up the biggest players in hydroponics, lighting and other supplies used for growing.
Now, Scotts is ramping up its involvement by throwing its lobbying weight behind legalization efforts, and funneling money into investments that eventually could enable the company to sell cannabis directly to consumers.
“It’s our belief, and this is not a grand revelation by any stretch: Federal legalization is obviously going to happen; the question is when and how,” said Chris Hagedorn, executive vice president of Scotts and division president of Hawthorne. “When it does, what are the most valuable assets going to be in a post-legalization world? I think anybody who thinks about it for a while says consumer-facing brands [that make and sell cannabis products] will be the most valuable.”