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High times for niche retailer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A franchise chain of West Coast supply stores for “indoor gardeners” is bringing its special strain of controversy to Washington, D.C., with a fourth location in the Northeast quadrant of the nation’s capital.

WeGrow, which will open a 2,500-sq.-ft. “hydroponics superstore” this spring, is making no secret about its intention to serve medical marijuana growers. WeGrow already operates similar retail shops in Sacramento and Oakland, Calif., and Phoenix. The use of medical marijuana is legal in both California and Arizona.

“We’re not selling anything that has not been sold before,” said franchisee Alex Wong in a television interview posted on WeGrow’s website. Customers will include ordinary gardeners as well as marijuana cultivators, he added. Staff will give advice to both groups, and inventory will include pipes and other paraphernalia.

Whether Wong — and the District of Columbia — runs into trouble with the federal government remains to be seen.

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Toro acquires Astec Underground product line

BY HBSDealer Staff

Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro Co. has acquired certain utility and underground product assets of Astec Underground, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astec Industries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Through the acquisition, Toro has acquired Astec Underground’s equipment line of vibratory plows, trenchers and horizontal directional drills for the underground utilities market. These products, which are used in the installation, repair and replacement of utilities with minimal impact on surrounding landscapes or structures, are designed for power distribution, telecommunications, utility companies, and landscape and irrigation contractors.

“This acquisition helps further grow Toro’s product presence in the landscape and ground engaging markets, along with providing access to a new category close to our core businesses,” said Rick Rodier, general manager of Toro’s Sitework Systems Business. “The underground utilities space represents a market in which we don’t compete today, but one we believe provides great opportunity to drive global share growth in these new categories.”

Chattanooga, Tenn-based Astec Industries is a manufacturer of specialized equipment for asphalt road building, aggregate processing, pipeline and utility trenching and wood processing. The products Toro is acquiring, which does not include Astec’s Trencor product line, are manufactured at the Astec Underground facility in Loudon, Tennessee.

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AZEK switches on outdoor lighting offerings

BY HBSDealer Staff

AZEK Building Products has added new outdoor lighting options to its AZEK Rail product line: two styles of Lighted Post Caps and Under Top Rail Lighting.

The Lighted Post Caps include the Villa Cap, available in White and Black, and the Island Cap, available in White, Black, Brownstone and Kona (dark brown). Both caps include multiple LEDs and fit all AZEK 5X5 Rail Post sleeves and complement existing post caps.

AZEK Under Top Rail Lighting, which tucks under the top rail, workw with AZEK Premier and Trademark Railings. The patent pending lighting system requires no extra fasteners and is virtually hidden. The LED lighting strips, which can be cut to fit any length of railing, fit into a semi-rigid extrusion and then press between the top rail retainer and top rail.

The AZEK Under Top Rail Lighting and Lighted Post Caps are powered by 12-Volt DC power.

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