Scotts Miracle-Gro, its sales hurting from the pullback in big-box expansion, is looking into new sources of revenues for its lawn and garden products. One of them, according to CEO Jim Hagedorn, is medical marijuana.
“I want to target the pot market,” Hagedorn told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published June 14. “There’s no good reason we haven’t.”
The growing of marijuana for medical use is legal in 16 states, the largest being California and Colorado. One estimate puts the market at $1.7 billion in sales, although the number could be much higher.
To target marijuana growers, Scotts would most likely buy existing companies rather than create its own line of branded products, according to the interview. Some pot cultivators are already using Scotts fertilizers and soils, while others resist mainstream brands.
Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart account for nearly two-thirds of Miracle-Gro’s $2.9 billion in annual sales. Relations between the Marysville, Ohio, company and independent retailers have been strained over several issues, and Hagedorn said he would like to reestablish good ties with this retail channel.
Scotts may be surprised to find that marijuana consumers are not an easy niche to please. At a Southern California pot dispensary, a disgruntled customer was recently overheard complaining that his last purchase “tasted too much like fertilizer.” He added: “If that’s what you’re going to sell me, I’ll just take my business down the street.”