Companies like Miracle-Gro stand to make some serious moolah if ever full-on legalization becomes a thing.
Jim Hagedorn, CEO of Scotts’ Miracle-Gro is a character in and of himself. His father, an ad man, was the founder of the famous company which features soil, pesticides, etc, but Jim, at the time, found it about as exciting as watching grass grow. He didn’t care much for schoolwork, but read encyclopedias cover to cover. While his father was off bailing out Susan, Jim’s older sister from a spot of trouble, Jim threw a pot party. To say his father was not happy about the whole thing is a major understatement, and Jim felt the need to call the police, citing danger for his life—just for having pot in the house. When the cops came, Hagedorn, Jr got out of Dodge and didn’t come back for two years.
That maverick way of being has not dimmed, not even after becoming the CEO of his father’s company. After the Great Recession in ’08, sales of Miracle-Gro products tanked, and his company started floundering. Understandably, he ended up laying off a bunch of people. He was determined to keep from going under, though, and hit upon a solution after walking into two different DIY stores in the same town.
One sold hydroponic stuff, but very little Miracle-Gro. The other store sold Miracle-Gro but no hydroponic equipment. Hydroponic equipment, by the way, is how many marijuana growers get their weed to flourish. Hagedorn asked to speak to the manager of the first store, and got a very informative earful about the stores hydroponic sales, which were pretty much all paid in cash. (Hey, if you’re growing weed, you don’t want a paper trail.) That’s where Hagedorn saw his next big business opportunity to keep Miracle-Gro afloat: the legal weed community.
Of course, he’s had a bit of resistance—even tendered resignations—from some of the board of directors, citing “traditional values,” and other nonsense. Hagedorn’s essentially just shrugged his shoulders and carried on with his quest. He’s sunk $135 million in two California businesses that sell pot-growing paraphernalia, and put $120 million on a still-unnamed hydroponics and lighting company in Amsterdam. But he’s not done investing the big bucks just yet. He’s estimated to sink another cool $150 million into this industry by the end of this year.
Future ideas of Hagedorn’s might also include GMO cannabis, which, coming from the CEO of a company that struck a deal with Monsanto to sell Roundup, is not all that surprising. Miracle-Gro is not necessarily in the business of organic anything, which should spell trouble for the planet and human health overall, if such an idea becomes reality.
Sure, your weed could be “Roundup-ready,” and resistant to disease and pests, but stop and think about it: why would you want to ingest the result of Frankenscience, when marijuana is supposed to be good for you, protecting your brain and healing your body? GMOs and their effects have had some nasty results just with regular food, though the scientists that have discovered this have been largely hushed up in the name of greed. Not cool.
Yes, Jim Hagedorn could be onto something, but in response, it might not be a bad idea for those who choose to keep with organic tradition to sink their earnings into keeping their favorite strains of Mary-Jane pure and clean from any Frankenstein-like tampering.