Scotts Miracle-Gro is main financial supporter of push to legalize weed in New Jersey: report

The marijuana industry has thrived during the coronavirus pandemic

Scotts Miracle-Gro, one of the most recognizable names in lawn and garden care, is expanding its business beyond suburban backyards.

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The company is the main financial backer of New Jersey's marijuana legalization effort, according to a New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission report reviewed by Politico.

It has donated $800,000 to committees that are in favor of the initiative, according to Politico, which is about 60% of the $1.3 million funding the push to legalize weed in the Garden State.

The move must be sitting right with investors as the company's stock is up more than 56% year-to-date.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SMGSCOTTS MIRACLE GRO163.79-2.39-1.44%

Scotts Miracle-Grow did not respond to a request for comment from FOX Business on Thursday.

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The company owns a subsidiary called Hawthorne Gardening Company, which provides materials for indoor and hydroponic grow operations.

"Built to serve growers of all sizes — from commercial needs to home hobbyists — Hawthorne houses best-in-class brands across lighting, nutrients, growing environment, growing media, hardware, and more," the company states on its website.

James MacWilliams prunes a marijuana plant that he is growing indoors in 2017 in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Jim Hagedorn, the chairman and CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro, has had his eyes set on the marijuana industry for nearly a decade.

"I want to target the pot market," Hagedorn told the Wall Street Journal in 2011. "There's no good reason we haven't."

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More recently, Hagedorn touted his company's early adaptation to the marijuana industry in an op-ed for RealClearPolitics.

"The company I’m privileged to lead, Ohio-based Scotts Miracle-Gro, has benefited from the cannabis revolution," he wrote last year.

"We happen to sell indoor growing products that are used in professional horticulture, including the rapidly growing legal commercial cannabis industry. This segment will grow by about 20% this year, representing nearly 25% of our total revenue and an even higher percentage of our enterprise value."

Sixty-one percent of likely voters said they support the marijuana legalization effort in New Jersey, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released last week.

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Multiple other states, including Arizona and South Dakota, also are considering ballot initiatives to legalize weed for recreational purposes next month. If passed, they would join the list of 11 states and Washington, D.C. that have legalized marijuana.

The industry has thrived during the coronavirus pandemic with no signs of slowing down. Colorado, for instance, saw $1,423,326,094 worth of marijuana sales through August, which is closing in on the $1,747,990,628 it sold in all of 2019.

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