Marijuana Business Magazine November December 2018

C hris Hagedorn has been on a mega shopping spree. As general manager of Hawthorne Garden- ing, Scotts Miracle-Gro’s hydroponics subsidiary for cannabis growers, Hagedorn has been instrumental in acquiring several major brands. On his watch, Hawthorne has spent approximately $1 billion snapping up Sunlight Supply, General Hydroponics, Botanicare, Gavita Horticul- ture Lighting and other businesses. Hawthorne now has locations throughout North America and in the Netherlands. The subsidiary’s rapid expansion has transformed Scotts into a cannabis juggernaut – one that has raised alarm bells among some in the industry who are critical of the company’s chemical-based products and worry its presence will help corporatize cannabis. Hagedorn will be a featured speaker Nov. 14, the opening day of MJBizCon in Las Vegas. In an interview with Marijuana Business Magazine, Hagedorn discussed what he looks for when acquiring brands, new developments in cultivation and how he sees the future for outdoor cannabis growers. Q What factors do you look at when considering a brand acquisition? A We look for brands that fill product gaps for us. We did the General Hydroponics deal because we wanted to get into the nutrient business. It’s a busi- ness we understand. We’ve been selling plant food for a long time. Beyond that, we wanted something that repre- sented the values that we share, which are efficacy, simplicity for our consumers, professionalism. We like having marketing brands from the consumer side, like Scotts Miracle-Gro, which is a leader in its space. We don’t want to enter the market as a follower. We want to enter as a leader, if we’re buying our way in. I like brands that are about making our consumers – our growers – successful. There are some brands in our space that are way more focused on the lifestyle side of things, and Q&A Finding Brands that Fill Cultivation Gaps Five questions with Chris Hagedorn, general manager of Hawthorne Gardening, a Scotts Miracle-Gro unit By Bart Schaneman Chris Hagedorn says the values of Scotts Miracle-Gro are efficacy, simplicity and professionalism. Photo courtesy of Hawthorne Gardening 16 • Marijuana Business Magazine • November/December 2018