Roundup For Weed: Scotts Miracle-Gro Talks Cannabis Pesticides

Scotts Miracle-Gro wants to make pesticides for your cannabis. The lawn care giant is currently discussing the idea with the EPA. Here are the details.

Nov 9, 2016

Earlier this year, Scotts Miracle-Gro explained that they are dunking “like half a billion dollars” into cannabis. No, the household pesticide and fertilizer company won’t be selling seeds or curing buds. But, the lawn and garden giant hopes to tap into auxiliary nutrient, lighting, and hydroponic businesses. Recently, they’ve announced a new venture: custom cannabis pesticides. 

Scotts Miracle-Gro approaches EPA

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Cannabis is still a federally illegal substance. Yet, this fact hasn’t stopped Scotts CEO Jim Hagedorn from reaching out to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His goal? To develop a new line of cannabis pesticides.

Columbus Business First reports that Hagedorn announced his relationship with the EPA while discussing Miracle-Gro’s fourth-quarter and year-end earnings with investors and analysts.

We’ll be the only ones offering pesticidal products that can be used on cannabis.  So I think that’s an opportunity for us. – Hagedorn

As recreational cannabis is still a major point of contention between states and the federal government, the pesticide products will be developed with medical cannabis in mind.

A unique pesticide formulation shouldn’t be difficult for the Miracle-Gro team. After all, the company has had exclusive rights to market Monsanto’s signature herbicide, Roundup, for the past 20 years.

Aggressive investments

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This dive into the cannabis pesticide world is not Hagedorn’s only foray into the cannabis space. In 2015, a Scotts’ subsidiary, Hawthorne Gardening Inc. purchased California-based General Hydroponics.

With a $130 million price tag, the hydroponic company was Hawthorne’s biggest investment since the 1990s. The Hawthorne team and General Hydroponics are in the process of negotiating the company’s future. Hagedorn is enthusiastic about the acquisition,

I’m really looking forward to hearing what comes out of it – because I think this is where very experienced hydro people are going to get together and say, ‘What do we need to do over the next two or three years to fully exploit these investments? – Hagedorn

Over the past year, Hagedorn made more investments in the industry. Though these investments represent a small portion of the $2.84 billion annual Miracle-Gro revenue, these acquisitions are contributing substantially to the company’s growth.

Apparently, sales in one business sector grew 70% thanks to Hawthorn’s new financial ventures.

Designed with young growers in mind

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According to Columbus Business, part of Scott’s new marketing strategy is to target younger consumers. Millennials are driving demand for this big agricultural shift.

In fact, a recent Pew poll shows that while there is finally majority support for legal cannabis in the general population, over 70% of millennials are in favor of serious reform. More support comes from the young folk than any other generation.

Scotts Miracle-Gro is ready to take advantage of this new herb-friendly movement. In an interview with Forbes earlier this year, he explained that cannabis is the “biggest thing [he’s] ever seen in lawn and garden.”

Not only are large-scale cannabis brands eager to break into new medical/recreational states, but apartment-dwellers are excited about the plant as well. All good signs for Hagedorn.

Looks like lawn and garden products aren’t just for grandmothers and backyard-loving dads anymore. A new generation of trendy, urban horticulturists and hip pesticides and hydroponic equipment has arrived.

Related article: How To Grow Just One Cannabis Plant In Your Home

Nov 9, 2016