Two mega corporations just merged. Bayer, a life sciences and agriculture corporation, just bought out Monsanto for $66 billion. But, what does this mean for the cannabis industry? Is the future of cannabis medicines going to big pharmaceuticals?
Bayer, Monsanto, and daily life
You may be surprised and even a little horrified when you realize just how much both Monsanto and Bayer influence your daily life.
Monsanto, the company who brought the world Agent Orange and DDT, defines itself as a “sustainable agriculture company” that assists farmers worldwide.
There’s no doubt that Monsanto plays a huge role in global agricultural production. Much of the corn, cotton, and soybeans produced in the United States stem from Monsanto-engineered products.
In fact, 40% of all genetically engineered crops are grown in the United States. Of those, 80% of GM corn and 93% of GM soy are owned by Monsanto.
Funny enough, the United States is the world’s largest exporter of corn and soybeans. It is also the third largest exporter of cotton. Monsanto owns genetically modified varieties of cotton, corn, and soybean.
Bayer also owns certain varieties of genetically modified corn. As well as GMO canola, various vegetables, pesticides, and herbicides.
Interestingly, they also manufacture intrauterine birth control devices, cancer drugs, various common pesticides, household pain relievers like Asprin and Alka Seltzer , flea treatments, vitamins, acne treatments.
All in all, Bayer directly owns 98 brands and is involved in numerous more.
The Bayer/Monsanto merger will have an impact on daily consumer goods. In fact, Agribusiness will now outshine drugs in as Bayer’s main revenue source. The merger will also give them access to over 2,000 different varieties of GM crops.
Are these mega corps diving into cannabis?
Meanwhile, Monsanto and Scotts Miracle-Gro have recently expanded their partnership. For the past two decades, Scotts Miracle-Gro has been the exclusive marketer of Monsanto’s Roundup, one of the most common household herbicides.
Last year, Monsanto extended Scotts marketing rights on all Roundup products, allowing them to take the product into new geographical territories. In a press release, Kerry Preete, Monsanto Executive Vice President of Global Strategy, states,
Monsanto looks forward to the continued partnership with Scotts as we work to deliver consumers with a diverse range of lawn and garden solutions.
Turns out, Scotts Miracle-Gro has another opportunity up its sleeve. In an interview earlier this year, CEO Jim Hagedorn told Forbes about his latest financial venture.
Hagedorn explains that he decided to invest,
[…] like, half a billion in the pot business. It is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen in lawn and garden.
Hagedorn was inspired after a trip to a local garden store. The store hardly sold any Scotts Miracle-Gro products, but they certainly had a lot of something else: hydroponic nutrients and equipment. When Hagedorn went back to work, he recalls telling his team,
‘We’re doing it. If you don’t like it, leave. We’re doing it. It’s beyond stopping. And we’re not getting into pot growing. We’re talking dirt, fertilizer, pesticides, growing systems, lights. You know it’s a multibillion-dollar business, and we’ve got no growth in our core.’
So, what does this mean for Bayer/Monsanto?
At this point, most big corporation interest is speculation. No one can predict the future. But, the merger inches agricultural and pharmaceutical giant Bayer closer to some big cannabis investments.
They already market one cannabis drug, and now they’re a little friendlier with another mega corporation with cannabis in sight.
Sounds like a win/win deal for Bayer. For the fledgling cannabis industry? Perhaps not so much. But, only time will tell whether or not these speculations are legitimate.