On the heels of the Bayer-Monsanto merge, big agriculture CEOs now have their sights set on the marijuana industry.
In September 2016, Bayer bought Monsanto for $66 billion dollars, resulting in the consolidation of two of the biggest and most influential agricultural chemical and seed companies in the world.
Consequently, Bayer-Monsanto now owns 29% of the entire world seed market, along with a quarter of the pesticide market. This monopoly on the agrochemical/seed business leaves farmers with fewer options in the marketplace.
Over the past few years, rumors have spread about the multinational biotechnology company Monsanto taking over the cannabis industry. Although Monsanto has denied this in the past, evidence has surfaced in the debate about legalization of marijuana consumption and cultivation.
According to Big Buds magazine, Monsanto has a “deep” partnership with Scott’s Miracle Gro — marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, — who in August last year bought known marijuana cultivation brands Gavita, General Hydroponics and Botanicare. Other major hydroponics companies have also reportedly been pressured by Scott’s Miracle Gro to sell out.
In an interview with Big Buds Mag, a unnamed hydroponics lighting manufacturer revealed that Scott’s had approached them wanting to purchase an important quantity of their bulbs and distribute them at Home Depot and other retail stores. “When we said we won’t get in bed with them they said, ‘Well, we could just buy your whole company like we did with Gavita and do whatever we want.’”
Jim Hagedorn, CEO of Scott’s Miracle Gro, has stated that he has allotted over half a billion dollars for his break into the cannabis industry. Unfortunately that only touches upon the devastating complexity of the issue.
Bayer has also made connections with GW Pharmaceuticals. This England-based company grows cannabis and sells its products for medical purposes. Bayer facilitates these sales, including an expensive spray that treats multiple sclerosis and others that are just waiting for the FDA approval.
Through this enormous corporate power, Bayer and Monsanto could create an even bigger monopoly on genetically modified cannabis seeds than they have already achieved for corn and soy. There’s still a chance to fight back by buying local or smaller producers unrelated to these huge enterprises. And also by growing — in areas where it is legal — and storing your own weed seeds.
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