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  High Hopes at Miracle-Gro In Med Marijuana Field
Posted by CN Staff on June 13, 2011 at 17:14:15 PT
By Dana Mattioli 
Source: Wall Street Journal 

medical USA -- Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. has long sold weed killer. Now, it's hoping to help people grow killer weed.

In an unlikely move for the head of a major company, Scotts Chief Executive Jim Hagedorn said he is exploring targeting medical marijuana as well as other niches to help boost sales at his lawn and garden company. "I want to target the pot market," Mr. Hagedorn said in an interview. "There's no good reason we haven't."

Sales at Scotts rose 5% last year to $2.9 billion. But the Marysville, Ohio, company relies on sales at three key retailers—Home Depot Inc., Lowe's Cos. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.—for nearly two-thirds of its revenue. With consumers still cautious about spending, the retailers aren't building new stores as quickly as they used to, making growth for suppliers like Scotts harder to come by. Against that backdrop, Mr. Hagedorn has pushed his regional sales presidents to look for smaller pockets of growth, such as the marijuana market, that together could produce a noticeable bump in sales.

Sixteen states have legalized medical marijuana, the largest being California and Colorado. The market will reach $1.7 billion in sales this year, according to a report by See Change Strategy LLC, an information data services company.

While the report focuses on revenue from growers and dispensaries, Kris Lotlikar, president of See Change, said the market for companies selling hydroponic equipment and professional services is also thriving.

"We see very good growth for these types of companies as the medical-marijuana business grows," he said.

Marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, but federal raids on medical dispensaries have eased since President Obama took office. And while major public companies haven't openly targeted the market, in recent months medical-marijuana companies have sought money from venture capitalists and signaled future IPOs.

Centennial Seed Co., a Boulder, Colo., medical-cannabis seed seller, is seeking $500,000 through a private offering. General Cannabis Inc., whose stock trades on the Pink Sheets, supports the medical-marijuana market with financial and Internet services.

The 55-year-old Mr. Hagedorn isn't a typical suit-wearing CEO. A former F-16 fighter pilot, he flies his Cessna to and from meetings in Port Washington, N.Y., where he grew up, and the company's headquarters in Ohio, much to the chagrin of his board. He also peppers his language with swear words and military references, and he showed up at the office on a recent June day in jeans and sneakers.

Mr. Hagedorn took over Miracle-Gro from his father, who co-founded the company. The idea to merge with Scotts dawned on him after he looked at the company's market value in 1995, he said, so he called his father's tax lawyer to vet the idea. "I said, 'Bob, I got this f— crazy idea. Do you think it'd be f— possible to take over Scotts?'" he recalls, sitting in the Port Washington office that his father once occupied.

Mr. Hagedorn is serious about sales growth, no matter how small. On a recent trip to a Farmingdale, N.Y., Home Depot, he saw a customer having a difficult time choosing soil. "C'mon, go help him out," he told Mike Carbonara, Scotts' president for the Northeast. A few minutes later, the customer was walking away with a bag of Miracle-Gro. Over the next half hour, Mr. Carbonara influenced three more sales.

Targeting marijuana isn't the only way Mr. Hagedorn is pursuing growth outside the national chains. Scotts is also looking to sell more through grocery stores.

And the company is recultivating its ties to independent lawn-and-garden-store owners, including offering them exclusive products. Mr. Hagedorn strained those ties with a 2009 speech in which he criticized the owners for not doing enough to promote Scotts products, prompting many owners to walk out.

"I don't give speeches to independents anymore," he said.

To target marijuana growers, Scotts would likely buy niche dirt companies that already exist rather than create its own line of branded products.

Raids on pot-growing operations have turned up Scotts products. Mr. Hagedorn takes that as a good sign of brand awareness, but he fears that some growers would be reluctant to use a mainstream product.

Rollitup.org, a website geared toward the marijuana-growing community, has several forums that debate Miracle-Gro's effectiveness. A user with the moniker Weedqueen12 wrote: "i think [Miracle-Gro] works well." Another user, dannyboy602, countered that Miracle-Gro causes pot plants to "burn and stress."

In the past, Scotts wouldn't have considered pursuing businesses or product lines that generated less than $10 million a year in revenue. But, Mr. Hagedorn said, "We can't operate our business like that anymore."

Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Author: Dana Mattioli
Published: May 13, 2011
Copyright: 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Contact: wsj.ltrs@wsj.com
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/Sfq8XgxG

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Comment #17 posted by josephlacerenza on June 20, 2011 at 08:47:46 PT
Follow What is up by the Minute!!
SB423 injunction Hearing in progress!!!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #16 posted by josephlacerenza on June 17, 2011 at 12:30:18 PT
What does TLC have to do with Medical Marijuana?
What Does TLC, Thin Layer Chromatography, have to do with Medical Marijuana Testing? http://tinyurl.com/4442zm8

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #15 posted by josephlacerenza on June 17, 2011 at 06:00:48 PT
More on Montana!
SB423 Repeal referendum UPDATE for what to expect from June 20-21st. http://tinyurl.com/3d3tpj2

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #14 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 15, 2011 at 16:20:23 PT
Organic is best, but....
I'd take chem grown cannabis over organic tobacco, any day.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #13 posted by josephlacerenza on June 15, 2011 at 07:09:59 PT
Montana SB 423 UPDATE!!
This is where we sit in Montana today!

Montana SB423 Repeal UPDATE!! http://tinyurl.com/3cu47fn

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #12 posted by BGreen on June 14, 2011 at 21:15:35 PT
You might be right, CaptainAjnag
Mainstreaming cannabis is imperative if we want to win this war. We've always tried to get people to understand that gardening is gardening, whether it's fruit, vegetables, ornamental flowers or herbs ... even cannabis. Nobody ever belongs in jail because of gardening and Miracle-Gro might just be helping the miracle plant.

The Reverend Bud Green

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by CaptainAjnag on June 14, 2011 at 20:00:09 PT:

PROGRESS
Alot of people trust Miracle-Gro. Maybe this could help to remove the stigma attached to weed. I mean if MG can help legitimize the industry in any way, then im all for it. Just because they help to get pot more "mainstream" doesn't mean we have to use their products...I personally prefer my organic nutes over anything else.

Even though I have grown with Miracle-Gro before...light doses of course and flushed with molasses water the last 2 weeks...It actually grew some pretty dank buds.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by FoM on June 14, 2011 at 12:25:03 PT
Joseph
I only look at the big picture when I read an article like this. The government probably won't mess with them. We then can say why pick on us when you aren't picking on Scotts? Organic Cannabis is how it should be.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #9 posted by josephlacerenza on June 14, 2011 at 12:02:05 PT
FoM
I see the big picture that you are trying to get at. Kellogg shunned us, so did Bank of America, American Express. I get what you're saying, I am just saying, I will not use the product, nor will I recommend it.

I have talked plenty about LEGITIMIZING the industry, but I still get B.S., even here! Need I restate, genetic tracking of MMJ from seed/clone to final product!

So, please, Scotts is "legitimizing" cannabis for a PROFIT, and being kinda shady about it, kinda like the "greenwashers" out there, and their faux green products!

Greenwashing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwashing

Example: We should use greenwashing to get public support for that new landfill project.

This is what it means to have Scotts in the cannabis industry. NO ONE here would want to see Monsanto, Weyerhaeuser , and their ilk to be the first to manufacture hemp cannabis!!! At least I would not be happy, it would only go to show how the govment is for the corporation, by the CEO of the republic....

Enough said!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on June 14, 2011 at 10:01:34 PT
quick did-you-know
Did you know that fluoride in municipal water systems is largely due to the prevailing use of petrochemical-based fertilizers? Yes, fluoride is a toxic by-product of making the blue stuff out of crude oil.

After WWII, the govt. pushed local municipalities to add fluoride to their water, immediately creating a huge and lucrative market for a chemical that was previously a hazardous material needing disposal for the oil companies and fertilizer industry.

Fluoride is a proven carcinogen and it's also been shown to add zero benefit if people brush their teeth once per day with fluoride toothpaste. There are thousands of cases of fluoridosis every year, where kids' teeth are damaged with soft spots due to over-exposure to fluoride. This happened to my sister.

The US has incredibly high rates of cancer compared to most poor countries, and the rate of cancer in the USA is rising fast. Just something to think about when you buy produce or fertilizer - go organic.

IMO fluorination of public water is one of the most outrageous acts of tyranny in US history. It's basically poison.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on June 14, 2011 at 09:53:18 PT
progress
yes I agree this Scott's initiative is definitely progress! A huge corporation that wants home gardening to expand can hopefully help fight off Big Pharma's influence. I just meant on a personal level "yuck".

As for the semantics I think we all know what "chemie ferts" means. Of course there are chemicals in organic nutes too.

I've always thought that we'll know we've won when walmartization happens to cannabis. There is no doubt in my mind that eventually the majority of consumers will end up smoking the absolute cheapest, corporate schwag imaginable, loaded with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. That's what we do with beer, food, etc. in this country it's foolish to deny it will happen with cannabis as well.

BUT we have excellent craft beer and locally grown organic produce too and those markets segments are growing every year. I hope that cannabis consumers are more quality minded but I highly doubt that's going to happen for most.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by runruff on June 14, 2011 at 08:47:47 PT
"Without chemicals, we would not exist."
The same cannot be said of DuPont, Monsanto or Dow Chemical, or for that matter, Miracle Grow! we would "exist" in a better environment without them.

Chemicals, Per Se, are not on trial here. It is the obvious misuse and abuse of deadly and harmful chemicals that I take umbrage with.

The Chemistry My body was born with has never been an issue with anyone!



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 14, 2011 at 07:43:53 PT
Miracle Grow
They just did a news piece on MSNBC about this topic. Miracle Grow has been around forever and they do a lot of advertising on TV. People that have no interest or knowledge of Cannabis will think it is legitimate now. That will help move our issue forward.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #4 posted by TroutMask on June 14, 2011 at 06:58:50 PT
Chemicals
Everything is either a chemical, a molecule, an atom or a particle. Without chemicals, we would not exist.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by josephlacerenza on June 14, 2011 at 05:10:07 PT
Keep your Miracle Grow!
I know plenty of people that would say to Scotts, keep you Miracle Grow! The marijuana community is a big WORD of MOUTH group. They , Scotts Miracle Grow, would be "cool" if WE thought they were COOL!

We do not want chemicals on our food, or cannabis! We do not want to support a company that does!! Try as you might, Fox Farms is by far THE BEST fertilizers and soil mixes! Its all I use!! Water, a GOOD soil mix and a little HPS! Ok, and a little TLC!

http://montanabiotech.wordpress.com

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 13, 2011 at 19:42:58 PT
TV Celebrity Montel Williams Has a New Focus
TV Celebrity Montel Williams Has a New Focus: a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Sacramento

Monday, June 13, 2011

Montel Williams has been the face of many things -- host of a nationally syndicated television talk show and product pitchman for prescription drug assistance products to a fruit and vegetable emulsifier.

On Monday, Williams appeared in Sacramento to announce a partnership in a new enterprise, a medical marijuana dispensary.

URL: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/13/3698137/tv-celebrity-montel-williams-has.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on June 13, 2011 at 17:32:53 PT
Yuck!!!
ALWAYS shop at independent garden centers and buy local soil products and organic fertilizers.

[ Post Comment ]

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