The CEO of Miracle-Gro is betting big on marijuana
Posted on July 06 2016
Jim Hagedorn is not your average CEO. He still takes a private jet to work, but that’s not so unusual when you’re a CEO. It’s more unusual however to be an ex F-16 fighter pilot, and behind the controls for most of the journey.
He has had an idea recently: “Invest, like, half a billion in the pot business,” he yells over the roar of two engines powering his camouflaged Cessna Citation. “It is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen in lawn and garden.”
His father built Miracle-Gro into a national brand, and Jim took over as CEO in 2001. Frustrated with flatlining revenues since the financial crisis however, he’s fired half of his management, shook up the controlling board of the company, and put $400 dollars into investment of products for people who grow marijuana.
He came up with the idea when he wandered into a garden centre in Washington state. He noticed there was barely any of his own merchandise there, but the shelves were full of hydroponic equipment intended to grow cannabis. After speaking with the owner, he discovered that the stuff had been flying off the shelves. He came back to the office and told everyone they were about to start selling hydroponic equipment.
Seasoned cannabis growers will tell you not to touch miracle-gro products when it comes to marijuana. It’s too strong, and not the right type of stuff to use to get the best results. That might be about to change though.
He’s been buying up fertiliser companies, soil outfits and accessory sellers ever since. $135 million dollars last year. Another $120 million this year and he plans to invest another $150 million by the end of the year, a combined total that takes it the biggest acquisition in history for Scotts Miracle-Gro.
His competitors and fellow CEOs don’t seem to want to take the risk he says. ‘They just shake their head’.
I think we all know that Miraco-Gro is probably going to make it big compared to their competitors if their business model revolves around weed.