Lawn-care giant Scotts Miracle-Gro targeting a new weed: cannabis


Growing up on New York’s Long Island, Jim Hagedorn would watch TV and see reports of marijuana busts. In the background, he’d sometimes spot bags of Miracle-Gro, the garden fertilizer invented by his father, Horace.

That recollection is particularly apt as the younger Hagedorn, now 59, considers plans for the company his father helped found, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., the world’s largest maker of lawn-care products. This month, Scotts bought a leading supplier of hydroponics, a technology that allows indoor cultivation of everything from tomatoes to pot without soil.

In the future, Hagedorn said, he plans more acquisitions in the hydroponics field, potentially building a business that can generate revenue of $1 billion-plus a year as more U.S. states legalize recreational and medical use of marijuana.

“We want to take these high-growth businesses, consolidate the space and kind of legitimize it, without changing it,” said Hagedorn, a former F-16 fighter...

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