Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO bets on the marijuana business

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The CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro – a provider of lawn and garden products dating to the 19th century – wants to invest half a billion dollars in the marijuana industry.

“It’s the biggest thing I’ve seen in lawn and garden,” CEO Jim Hagedorn told Forbes. His plan: “Invest, like, half a billion dollars.”

Scotts Miracle-Gro sells grass seed, fertilizers, pesticides and dirt.

Hagedorn already has started wagering on the cannabis industry. Last year, he invested $135 million in two California businesses that sell fertilizer, soil and other gardening accessories to cannabis cultivators.

More recently he spent $120 million on a lighting and hydroponics equipment company in Amsterdam. Hagedorn said he planned to invest another $150 million before the end of the year.

With an eye toward the marijuana business, Scotts Miracle-Gro has also started selling a new line of hydroponics equipment and soils called Black Magic in 141 Home Depot stores in Colorado, Washington, and Michigan. The TV ad that launched Black Magic first aired on April 20.

Scotts Miracle-Gro is also working with state governments to obtain federal registrations indicating which pesticides can be used safely on cannabis, with the idea to sell its own branded, canna-focused pesticides.