Scotts Company

Marysville, OH, United States

Scotts Company

Marysville, OH, United States
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MARYSVILLE, Ohio, May 02, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG), the world’s leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, today announced fiscal second quarter results as well as the pending sale of its European and Australian businesses, a major step in its continued execution of ‘Project Focus.’ For the second quarter ended April 1, 2017, company-wide sales declined 3 percent to $1.20 billion due primarily to challenging comparisons versus favorable early spring weather in 2016, when the Company reported record results at the start to the lawn and garden season. Those same challenging comparisons, which the Company anticipated in its planning for the year, resulted in GAAP earnings per share of $2.73 versus $3.64 and Non-GAAP adjusted earnings per share of $2.78 versus $3.00 a year ago. “We’ve had strong momentum over the past several weeks and consumer purchases entering May – historically the peak of the lawn and garden season – are down less than one percent from last year,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer.  “We expected a difficult comparison through the first half of the year and we are confident in how we are positioned for the balance of the season. We also remain pleased with the continued double-digit growth so far this year in our hydroponics products sold by the Hawthorne Gardening business.” Separately, the Company announced it has received a binding and irrevocable offer for its European and Australian consumer operations from Exponent Private Equity LLP. The proposed transaction, valued at approximately $250 million (USD), is expected to close during the Company’s fiscal fourth quarter, and is subject to prior consultation with the works councils, employee representative bodies and regulatory approval. Depending on the timing of closure, the transaction could result in dilution by up to $0.20 per share in fiscal 2017. “There is no doubt that our International lawn and garden business is the strongest in the marketplace with outstanding brand recognition and a talented and dedicated team of associates,” Hagedorn said. “While this sale is a reflection of our commitment to concentrate more resources on our U.S. business, as we outlined last year in announcing Project Focus, we wanted to make sure we found a partner that would steward these brands, give stability to our associates and provide our shareholders with a fair valuation. We are delighted with the proposed agreement we have reached with Exponent, and we believe it accomplishes all of those goals. We expect this transaction to be seamless to our retail partners, our consumers and our associates.” Second quarter details The Company noted that the presentation of its Non-GAAP financial results has been adjusted from 2016 to conform with current best practices. The “pro-forma” language included last year after the divestiture of Scotts LawnService is now referred to as “Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income.” This line adjusts for the impact of the divestiture and also excludes impairment, restructuring and other one-time items. The calculation used is the same from year-to-year. For the fiscal second quarter, the Company reported sales of $1.20 billion compared with $1.24 billion for the same period a year ago. The decline was driven primarily by a 7 percent decrease in sales within the U.S. Consumer segment, which were $962.5 million. European consumer sales declined 8 percent to $105.3 million, or 2 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Sales in the “Other” segment increased 50 percent to $135.7 million, driven primarily by acquisitions. “Besides the pure benefit of the acquired growth, Hawthorne had an outstanding quarter as each of our hydroponics businesses grew double digits,” Hagedorn said. “On a comparative basis, our hydroponics portfolio grew 22 percent in the second quarter, bringing year-to-date sales growth to 13 percent.” The GAAP and Non-GAAP adjusted gross margin rates in the quarter were 41.7 percent, down 20 basis points from year-ago levels. Favorable commodities and pricing were offset by acquisitions and negative fixed cost leverage. A continued focus on selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) led to a decrease of 2 percent to $197.8 million despite the impact of acquisitions. On a company-wide basis, GAAP income from continuing operations was $165.3 million, or $2.73 per diluted share, compared with $225.8 million, or $3.64 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2016. Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income was $168.7 million, or $2.78 per share, compared with $186.6 million, or $3.00 per share. This latter calculation is the basis of the Company’s earnings guidance. Year-to-Date Details Net sales for the first six months of fiscal 2016 increased 1 percent to $1.45 billion. Sales in the U.S. Consumer segment declined 6 percent to $1.09 billion. Sales for Europe Consumer declined 8 percent to $129.7 million, or declined 2 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates. Sales for the Other segment increased 59 percent to $232.6 million. The GAAP and Non-GAAP adjusted gross margin rates for the first six months were 37.7 percent, compared to 37.4 and 37.8 percent, respectively, in the prior year. SG&A increased 1 percent to $316.9 from $314.2 in the prior year. GAAP income from continuing operations was $101.0 million, or $1.65 per diluted share, compared with $146.6 million, or $2.35 per diluted share. Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income was $111.1 million, or $1.82 per share, compared with $117.4 million, or $1.88 per share. This latter calculation is the basis of the Company’s earnings guidance. International Transaction and ‘Project Focus’ Update The pending sale of the European and Australian businesses is expected to be the last step in the reconfiguration of the company portfolio under ‘Project Focus,’ which was outlined at the start of fiscal 2016. Assuming the sale is completed, the company’s operating margin is expected to improve by approximately 125 basis points, a significant step toward the Company’s stated goal of 18 percent. The transaction is expected to be dilutive to earnings per share up to $0.20 in fiscal 2017. The Company expects to largely offset that dilution in fiscal 2018 by using the cash proceeds of the transaction for acquisitions and share repurchase activities in both 2017 and 2018. “We are extremely pleased with the transaction we’ve reached with Exponent and see it as the best possible outcome for our shareholders,” said Randy Coleman, chief financial officer. “Going forward, more than 95 percent of our revenue and income will be generated in the United States, where our competitive advantages are the strongest and where our ability to improve cash flow and drive shareholder value is the greatest.” Upon completion of the transaction, the Company intends to change its segment reporting structure to include U.S. Consumer, Hawthorne Gardening Company, and “Other,” which will include Canada, Mexico and legacy supply agreements with third parties. The new segments will likely be reported when the Company announces year-end results in early November. Conference Call and Webcast Scheduled for 9:00 a.m. ET Today, May 2 The Company will discuss results during a webcast and conference call today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Conference call participants should call 877-518-0009 (Conference Code: 6752971).  A live webcast of the call will be available on the investor relations section of the Company's website at http://investor.scotts.com.  An archive of the webcast, as well as any accompanying financial information regarding any non-GAAP financial measures discussed by the Company during the call, will remain available for at least 12 months. In addition, a replay of the call can be heard by calling 888-203-1112. The replay will be available for 30 days. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, but not limited to, information regarding the future economic performance and financial condition of the Company, the plans and objectives of the Company’s management, and the Company’s assumptions regarding such performance and plans are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified as statements that include phrases such as “guidance,” “outlook,” “projected,” “believe,” “target,” “predict,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “strategy,” “may,” “goal,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “foresee,” “likely,” “will,” “should” or other similar words or phrases. Actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking information in this release due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: Additional detailed information concerning a number of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this release is readily available in the Company’s publicly filed quarterly, annual and other reports. The Company disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments. (1) Basic income (loss) per common share amounts are calculated by dividing income (loss) from continuing operations, income (loss) from discontinued operations and net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. (2) Diluted income (loss) per common share amounts are calculated by dividing income (loss) from continuing operations, income (loss) from discontinued operations and net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest by the weighted average number of common shares, plus all potential dilutive securities (common stock options, performance shares, performance units, restricted stock and restricted stock units) outstanding during the period. (3) On April 13, 2016, pursuant to the terms of the Contribution and Distribution Agreement, by and among the Company and TruGreen Holding Corporation (“TruGreen Holdings”), the Company completed the contribution of the Scotts LawnService® business (the “SLS Business”) to a newly formed subsidiary of TruGreen Holdings (the “TruGreen Joint Venture”) in exchange for a minority equity interest of 30% in the TruGreen Joint Venture. As a result, effective in its second quarter of fiscal 2016, the Company classified its results of operations for all periods presented to reflect the SLS Business as a discontinued operation and classified the assets and liabilities of the SLS Business as held for sale. The Company’s 30% interest in the TruGreen Joint Venture has been accounted for using the equity method of accounting, with the Company's proportionate share of the TruGreen Joint Venture earnings reflected in the consolidated statements of operations. To supplement the financial measures prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), the Company uses non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP are shown in the tables above. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for or superior to, financial measures reported in accordance with GAAP. Moreover, these non-GAAP financial measures have limitations in that they do not reflect all the items associated with the operations of the business as determined in accordance with GAAP. Other companies may calculate similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures differently than the Company, limiting the usefulness of those measures for comparative purposes. In addition to GAAP measures, management uses these non-GAAP financial measures to evaluate the Company’s performance, engage in financial and operational planning and determine incentive compensation because it believes that these measures provide additional perspective on and, in some circumstances are more closely correlated to, the performance of the Company’s underlying, ongoing business. Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures are useful to investors in their assessment of operating performance and the valuation of the Company. In addition, these non-GAAP financial measures address questions routinely received from analysts and investors and, in order to ensure that all investors have access to the same data, management has determined that it is appropriate to make this data available to all investors. Non-GAAP financial measures exclude the impact of certain items (as further described below) and provide supplemental information regarding operating performance. By disclosing these non-GAAP financial measures, management intends to provide investors with a supplemental comparison of operating results and trends for the periods presented. Management believes these measures are also useful to investors as such measures allow investors to evaluate performance using the same metrics that management uses to evaluate past performance and prospects for future performance. Non-GAAP financial measures reflect adjustments based on the following items: The tax effect for each of the items listed above is determined using the tax rate and other tax attributes applicable to the item and the jurisdiction(s) in which the item is recorded. The reconciliations of non-GAAP disclosure items includes the following financial measures that are not calculated in accordance with GAAP and are utilized by management in evaluating the performance of the business, engaging in financial and operational planning, the determination of incentive compensation, and by investors and analysts in evaluating performance of the business: Adjusted gross profit: Gross profit excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries. Adjusted income (loss) from operations: Income (loss) from operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries. Adjusted equity in income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates: Equity in income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates excluding TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes: Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income tax expense (benefit) from continuing operations: Income tax expense (benefit) from continuing operations excluding the tax effect of impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income (loss) from continuing operations: Income (loss) from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. Adjusted net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest from continuing operations: Net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing, TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments and discontinued operations, each net of tax. Adjusted diluted income (loss) per common share from continuing operations: Diluted income (loss) per common share from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. SLS Divestiture adjusted income (loss): Net income (loss) from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. This measure also includes income (loss) from discontinued operations related to the SLS Business; however, excludes the gain on the contribution of the SLS Business to the TruGreen Joint Venture, each net of tax. SLS Divestiture adjusted income (loss) per common share: Diluted net income (loss) per common share excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. This measure also includes income (loss) from discontinued operations related to the SLS Business; however, excludes the gain on the contribution of the SLS Business to the TruGreen Joint Venture, each net of tax. Adjusted EBITDA: Net income (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as well as certain other items such as the impact of the cumulative effect of changes in accounting, costs associated with debt refinancing and other non-recurring or non-cash items affecting net income (loss). The presentation of adjusted EBITDA is intended to be consistent with the calculation of that measure as required by the Company’s borrowing arrangements, and used to calculate a leverage ratio (maximum of 4.50 at December 31, 2016) and an interest coverage ratio (minimum of 3.00 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016). For the three and six months ended April 1, 2017, the Company incurred costs of $3.3 million and $4.7 million, respectively, as compared to costs of $1.7 million and $2.6 million for the three and six months ended April 2, 2016, respectively, related to Project Focus transaction activity within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. The Company also incurred TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments of $2.1 million and $11.7 million for the three and six months ended April 1, 2017, respectively, within the “Equity in loss of unconsolidated affiliates” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. For the three and six months ended April 2, 2016, the Company incurred $1.0 million and $6.4 million, respectively, in costs related to consumer complaints and claims related to the reformulated Bonus® S fertilizer product sold in the southeastern United States during fiscal 2015 within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” and the “Cost of sales—impairment, restructuring and other” lines in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. Additionally, the Company recorded offsetting insurance reimbursement recoveries of $50.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. In this earnings release, the Company presents its outlook for fiscal 2017 non-GAAP adjusted EPS. The Company does not provide a GAAP EPS outlook, which is the most directly comparable GAAP measure to non-GAAP adjusted EPS, because changes in the items that the Company excludes from GAAP EPS to calculate non-GAAP adjusted EPS, described above, can be dependent on future events that are less capable of being controlled or reliably predicted by management and are not part of the Company’s routine operating activities. Additionally, due to their unpredictability, management does not forecast the excluded items for internal use and therefore cannot create or rely on a GAAP EPS outlook without unreasonable efforts. The timing and amount of any of the excluded items could significantly impact the Company’s GAAP EPS. As a result, the Company does not provide a reconciliation of guidance for non-GAAP adjusted EPS to GAAP EPS, in reliance on the unreasonable efforts exception provided under Item 10(e)(1)(i)(B) of Regulation S-K. (5) In April 2015, the FASB issued an accounting standard update that requires debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability to be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the corresponding debt liability rather than as an asset; however debt issuance costs relating to revolving credit facilities will remain in other assets. The Company adopted this guidance on a retrospective basis effective October 1, 2016. As a result, debt issuance costs totaling $6.3 million and $6.0 million have been presented as a component of the carrying amount of long-term debt in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets as of April 2, 2016 and September 30, 2016, respectively. These amounts were previously reported within other assets.


Brad bends down to inspect one of his medical marijuana plants on the farm. They’ll be planted in the ground in April and harvested the following fall. (Photo: Deleigh Hermes for Yahoo News) NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — Brad and Katherine live a simple life on 120 acres with two dogs, three cats, a goat, some chickens, three alpacas — and just under 2,000 square feet of marijuana plants. Katherine’s grandparents bought the farm more than 50 years ago, and in many ways, she’s leading a life similar to theirs. She and her husband rarely make the half-hour drive down a dirt road to town, instead spending their days gardening, cooking and repairing the house. They turn off the solar electricity system every night, plunging the farmhouse into total darkness. Katherine, 31, never smokes pot — though she does bake medical marijuana dog treats for the arthritic family dog, Jake. Brad spent one recent evening reading a book called “Teaming with Microbes” and examining his latest compost concoction under a microscope. “As soon as you weed the whole garden, you have to start over again,” Katherine said while tending to one of her many vegetable plots in the shadow of giant redwoods on a chilly March morning. She tossed the unwanted plants into a wheelbarrow. Closer to harvest time, Brad sometimes works 16-hour days, picking grasshoppers off his medical marijuana plants late into the night. The young couple, who have asked to be identified by only their first names because of the marijuana industry’s still-precarious legal status, are worried their peaceful life in the redwoods could be turned upside down by the new administration, which has taken a harsher tone against states that have legalized pot. In 1996 California became the first state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and a 2016 ballot initiative will allow dispensaries to sell recreational pot starting in 2018. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump said he would defer to the states when it came to legalizing pot and endorsed medical marijuana for all states. But since taking office, both he, through his press secretary, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have signaled they may crack down on the drug. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use can expect to see “greater enforcement” of federal laws outlawing pot. Sessions said last month he believes pot legalization has led to “violence.” At a Senate hearing last year, Sessions said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” That’s news to the people who live in Katherine’s valley, many of whom have been growing weed since the 1960s, albeit quietly. Katherine’s dad, who was a logger, started growing marijuana before she was born, a family secret that no one ever talked about in front of the kids. As American attitudes and state laws changed to be more accepting of marijuana, Katherine’s family business also changed. In the 1970s and ’80s, her family used to “guerilla grow” — placing marijuana plants in the vast forest surrounding their property that were hidden to government helicopters prowling overhead. They hiked out soil and supplies to care for them. Sometimes, law enforcement would beat the odds and find these hidden patches of pot, chop up all the plants and leave a business card behind. Up until a few years ago, the sound of aircraft overhead was enough to send anyone in the area into a panic. “You’d hear a helicopter and your knees would buckle,” Brad recalled. Katherine’s mom and dad are still incredulous that she and her husband have decided to register with the state, which they see as a huge risk though it is a requirement of the new California pot laws. (Her parents, who own a small family restaurant, moved out in 2004 and let Katherine take over the farm.) Since 2010, Katherine and Brad have grown their plants out in the open on their own property. They stay under the 2,000-square-foot limit set by local law and have invited out the Water Board and other bureaucrats to certify their operation. “We made a garden and my parents were like, are you crazy?” Katherine recalls. “So many people are scared to go legal because they’re so used to being secretive.” But these days the cops are no longer the greatest threat to small growers like Katherine. Instead, they worry about a danger that is far more common among entrepreneurs: competition that could put them out of business. As pot’s become increasingly mainstream, large corporations are starting to creep in on the turf of smaller, family-owned farms. It is a problem her parents’ generation never had to deal with, but it beats farming in the shadows, constantly worried about raids and arrests. Katherine’s parents didn’t tell her about the pot until she was 16 years old, when they gradually introduced the subject after she had begun to have suspicions. (In retrospect, one clue was that her parents didn’t seem upset when she ratted out her little brother for smoking weed.) She kept the family business a secret when she first met her husband, Brad, as well, on a trip to a winery in Australia in her early 20s. Brad came to visit her family in California during pot harvest, when the valley turns into a single-minded clipping and drying operation. Migrant workers — or “trimmigrants” — show up to help cut weed for the fall months, and the local garden supply stores stock and quickly sell out of giant vats of clippers. “When Brad first came I was like, here’s some clippers, here’s Mom and Dad,” she joked. One grower in the valley who wished not to be named said she was “shocked” when she first came to the valley during harvest 10 years ago, expecting something seedy. Instead, entire families gathered round, clipping the plants. “It looked like something out of the 1800s in West Virginia,” she said. Brad enthusiastically embraced he family business. In fact, once they married, he took over the pot side of the farm. He focuses on growing medical marijuana high in CBD and low in THC — the agent that makes a person feel high when smoking or ingesting pot. (Only about a quarter of Brad’s plants are recreational marijuana.) The couple makes a modest living that allows them to take a vacation each year and stay out of debt. New cars or fancy clothes are not on the table, and Katherine grows most of their food in the garden. “We don’t spend any money we don’t have,” Katherine says. They’re also careful to diversify, since both are unsure what will happen to the marijuana industry. Brad grows and collects gourmet mushrooms that San Francisco buyers are happy to purchase, and harvests wasabi plants that get shipped to Japan for sale. They both are also considering opening up a restaurant at a local train station. Brad holds a few of the edible mushrooms he grew on the farm in March. (Photo: Deleigh Hermes for Yahoo News) For Brad and Katherine, growing weed is a way to finance a simple country life away from the city — where they can be self-sufficient and free from the pressures of modernity. “It’s something we can do to have this lifestyle and grow our own garden,” Katherine said. In the valley where Brad and Katherine live, many small pot farmers fear Big Business as much as Big Government as a threat to their way of life. One in 5 Americans now live in states where it’s legal to smoke marijuana without a doctor’s note, and the legal cannabis industry is expected to rake in $22 billion by 2021. According to one analysis, about 88 percent of U.S. spending on cannabis is still in the illicit market, meaning the industry would grow at an even faster clip if more states legalize pot. The marijuana industry in Colorado alone created 18,000 full-time jobs in 2015 and sold 21,000 pounds of pot per month. So far, most large corporations have been scared to plunge headfirst into the booming pot industry since it’s still outlawed by the federal government. But analysts predict Big Tobacco and other industries will quickly get into the mix as cannabis becomes more mainstream. Some have started pouring money into the margins of the weed industry. Last year, Scotts Miracle-Gro announced deals worth $400 million investing in garden supplies with a pot focus, and Philip Morris moved into inhaler technology. Katherine and Brad’s biggest concern about legalization is that corporations and celebrity entrepreneurs will take over and price them and other small farmers out of the market. Whoopi Goldberg has a line of weed edibles aimed at easing period cramps. Snoop Dogg is selling clones of marijuana plants. They both think that it’s only a matter of time. But they’re also looking forward to some of the conveniences of legitimacy after years of participating in a black market. Her parents used to sell their product to a man who would smuggle it to Chicago on the Amtrak train. They wouldn’t get paid until he sold it and came back. Now, Brad sells to a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, though transactions are still cash-only as banks have been wary of getting involved in activity still illegal on the federal level. “I can’t wait to get a check. I think that would be so cool,” Katherine said. “To get a check and then deposit it.” Pot’s a big industry now, but the valley has attracted eccentrics and freethinkers since the 1960s, when many hippies migrated there after the “Summer of Love.” Some began growing pot as a way to survive, at times clashing with local loggers who were more conservative and wary of the newcomers. “Either you fall in love with the place or you can’t wait get to out of it,” said Mary, an 82-year-old former nun who moved to the valley in 1973. A poet, Mary was making a tincture of Grey Goose vodka and marijuana in her small kitchen on a recent afternoon to help her go to sleep. The valley has a reputation for being inhospitable to strangers, which has helped its pot growers avoid notice and trouble. Tourists and mushroom pickers are warned away from the dirt road, which becomes a muddy mess after the slightest bit of rain. Mary, an 82-year-old former nun, makes herself a tincture of marijuana leaves and Grey Goose vodka, which she says helps her sleep at night. Mary moved to the valley in 1973, and became a poet. (Photo: Deleigh Hermes for Yahoo News) “They think in town that everyone down here is slightly psychotic,” said John, a former film producer who bought a farm in the valley six years ago. A sign on John’s property warned: If you can read this, you’re in range. John grows a strain of recreational marijuana that the dispensaries call “cookies” on a quarter of an acre, and employs about four people per year full time. “It’s expensive,” John says. “Everything about it is expensive.” He jokingly describes himself as “something akin to a liberal prepper,” as in a survivalist prepping for a social or economic collapse, and decided to move his family to a farm to get closer to nature and farther away from society. John’s worried about the rhetoric coming out of the Trump administration around pot, but his chief concern is that the web of regulations surrounding legal pot could put him out of business. “We have goose-steppers in the White House now,” he said. “But who knows? The reality is the bureaucrats on the local level might be worse… These people are allowed to stick their nose into every aspect of your life.” The regulations may drive out smaller farms, which can’t afford the expertise it takes to comply. “It’s becoming so complex that you need attorneys and experts and consultants to get through it, which is going to push out small growers,” John said. It’s another reason that Big Business, with all of its influence and resources, could pose the most significant threat to mom and pop pot farms. If prices dropped much lower than they are today, he believes he would have to get out of the business. “Small farms have been killed across America,” John said, and his might be next. Local farmers are hoping to survive by creating boutique brands that people are willing to pay extra for. “The Bordeaux of cannabis,” as John said. Katherine and Brad hope their area will become the “Napa Valley of weed” and that consumers will start to prefer organically grown pot. Before it was legal, neighbors in the valley used to never talk to each other about their cash crop. Now they swap growing tips, hoping to boost each other and survive. Katherine is often surprised she ended up back on the farm where she grew up, fiercely committed to her quiet way of life. “I didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” she remembers feeling as a young adult. “Then I went out and saw the world and saw how good I had it.” Katherine and Brad tend to their plants on a sunny day last year. Katherine is plucking the plants’ big leaves, which she’ll then dry. The couple sells their marijuana to a medical dispensary that uses it for tinctures to treat various ailments. (Photo: Deleigh Hermes for Yahoo News) Read more from the Yahoo Weed & the American Family series: Americans families defending pot as never before, Yahoo News/Marist Poll finds How Republicans and Democrats in Congress are joining forces to defeat Sessions’ war on weed Cannabis advocate Melissa Etheridge: ‘I’d much rather have a smoke with my grown kids than a drink’ These mothers of suicides don’t think marijuana is harmless ‘Cannabis has made me a better parent’: One mom’s confession


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

IRVINE, Calif., May 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Starting today, the Blossom Smart Watering Controller works with the Google Assistant on Google Home, bringing the benefits of voice control to the smart yard. The Google Assistant is already available on more than 100M devices, and can be activated on Blossom devices by asking your Assistant on Google Home to “Talk to Blossom.” Featuring Wi-Fi connectivity and a sleek, slim, low-profile design, Blossom is a simple, cost-effective solution that takes the guesswork out of controlling sprinklers. Tapping into the power of cloud computing, Blossom self-programs existing sprinklers based on local forecast and data from weather stations and satellites – combined with user feedback – to create the ideal watering schedule. Blossom’s technology ensures that each section of a yard is specifically watered based on layout and vegetation. Built on the belief that IoT technology should make life easier instead of more complicated, Blossom allows users to truly ‘set it and forget it.’ Installation is easy and can be done in as little as 15 minutes (a simple retrofit of the existing sprinkler controller). Blossom builds a smart watering schedule via Wi-Fi connectivity and does everything on its own. “The Internet of Things revolution is transforming our everyday lives – so we are making the smart yard accessible by voice from anywhere in the home via integration with the Google Assistant on Google Home,” said Josh Peoples, Vice President and General Manager of Scotts, the owner of Blossom. “With this collaboration, we are moving Blossom into the next generation of smart home connectivity and allowing our customers to remotely operate their devices in a variety of ways through voice commands.” Blossom has an extremely user-friendly interface, is aesthetically pleasing and automates sprinklers with real-time weather data. In addition to voice control, users can control Blossom from their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and stay connected to their yard – no matter where they are. Acquired in 2016, Blossom is part of the ScottsMiracle-Gro family and an early launch of the Connected Yard, its IoT solution to provide consumers with precision watering and other guidance to achieve healthy lawns and gardens. Connected Yard and Blossom support the company’s Water Positive ™ Landscapes Initiative that brings water stewardship to the forefront of lawn and garden. For more details, please visit myblossom.com. About Blossom Blossom is a smart connected home device for controlling lawn sprinklers. Leveraging the power of cloud computing and real time weather data to optimize the irrigation schedule used to manage existing sprinklers, Blossom gives users easy access to control the watering of their garden from their smartphone or tablet. Blossom offers its products through Amazon and on their website. About ScottsMiracle-Gro The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are among the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed near worldwide by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we maintain a minority interest in a joint venture with TruGreen®, the largest residential lawn care service business, and in Bonnie Plants®, the largest marketer of edible gardening plants in retail channels.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scottsmiraclegro.com. Blossom is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Google Inc.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

IRVINE, Calif., May 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Starting today, the Blossom Smart Watering Controller works with the Google Assistant on Google Home, bringing the benefits of voice control to the smart yard. The Google Assistant is already available on more than 100M devices, and can be activated on Blossom devices by asking your Assistant on Google Home to “Talk to Blossom.” Featuring Wi-Fi connectivity and a sleek, slim, low-profile design, Blossom is a simple, cost-effective solution that takes the guesswork out of controlling sprinklers. Tapping into the power of cloud computing, Blossom self-programs existing sprinklers based on local forecast and data from weather stations and satellites – combined with user feedback – to create the ideal watering schedule. Blossom’s technology ensures that each section of a yard is specifically watered based on layout and vegetation. Built on the belief that IoT technology should make life easier instead of more complicated, Blossom allows users to truly ‘set it and forget it.’ Installation is easy and can be done in as little as 15 minutes (a simple retrofit of the existing sprinkler controller). Blossom builds a smart watering schedule via Wi-Fi connectivity and does everything on its own. “The Internet of Things revolution is transforming our everyday lives – so we are making the smart yard accessible by voice from anywhere in the home via integration with the Google Assistant on Google Home,” said Josh Peoples, Vice President and General Manager of Scotts, the owner of Blossom. “With this collaboration, we are moving Blossom into the next generation of smart home connectivity and allowing our customers to remotely operate their devices in a variety of ways through voice commands.” Blossom has an extremely user-friendly interface, is aesthetically pleasing and automates sprinklers with real-time weather data. In addition to voice control, users can control Blossom from their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and stay connected to their yard – no matter where they are. Acquired in 2016, Blossom is part of the ScottsMiracle-Gro family and an early launch of the Connected Yard, its IoT solution to provide consumers with precision watering and other guidance to achieve healthy lawns and gardens. Connected Yard and Blossom support the company’s Water Positive ™ Landscapes Initiative that brings water stewardship to the forefront of lawn and garden. For more details, please visit myblossom.com. About Blossom Blossom is a smart connected home device for controlling lawn sprinklers. Leveraging the power of cloud computing and real time weather data to optimize the irrigation schedule used to manage existing sprinklers, Blossom gives users easy access to control the watering of their garden from their smartphone or tablet. Blossom offers its products through Amazon and on their website. About ScottsMiracle-Gro The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are among the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed near worldwide by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we maintain a minority interest in a joint venture with TruGreen®, the largest residential lawn care service business, and in Bonnie Plants®, the largest marketer of edible gardening plants in retail channels.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scottsmiraclegro.com. Blossom is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Google Inc.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

IRVINE, Calif., May 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Starting today, the Blossom Smart Watering Controller works with the Google Assistant on Google Home, bringing the benefits of voice control to the smart yard. The Google Assistant is already available on more than 100M devices, and can be activated on Blossom devices by asking your Assistant on Google Home to “Talk to Blossom.” Featuring Wi-Fi connectivity and a sleek, slim, low-profile design, Blossom is a simple, cost-effective solution that takes the guesswork out of controlling sprinklers. Tapping into the power of cloud computing, Blossom self-programs existing sprinklers based on local forecast and data from weather stations and satellites – combined with user feedback – to create the ideal watering schedule. Blossom’s technology ensures that each section of a yard is specifically watered based on layout and vegetation. Built on the belief that IoT technology should make life easier instead of more complicated, Blossom allows users to truly ‘set it and forget it.’ Installation is easy and can be done in as little as 15 minutes (a simple retrofit of the existing sprinkler controller). Blossom builds a smart watering schedule via Wi-Fi connectivity and does everything on its own. “The Internet of Things revolution is transforming our everyday lives – so we are making the smart yard accessible by voice from anywhere in the home via integration with the Google Assistant on Google Home,” said Josh Peoples, Vice President and General Manager of Scotts, the owner of Blossom. “With this collaboration, we are moving Blossom into the next generation of smart home connectivity and allowing our customers to remotely operate their devices in a variety of ways through voice commands.” Blossom has an extremely user-friendly interface, is aesthetically pleasing and automates sprinklers with real-time weather data. In addition to voice control, users can control Blossom from their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and stay connected to their yard – no matter where they are. Acquired in 2016, Blossom is part of the ScottsMiracle-Gro family and an early launch of the Connected Yard, its IoT solution to provide consumers with precision watering and other guidance to achieve healthy lawns and gardens. Connected Yard and Blossom support the company’s Water Positive ™ Landscapes Initiative that brings water stewardship to the forefront of lawn and garden. For more details, please visit myblossom.com. About Blossom Blossom is a smart connected home device for controlling lawn sprinklers. Leveraging the power of cloud computing and real time weather data to optimize the irrigation schedule used to manage existing sprinklers, Blossom gives users easy access to control the watering of their garden from their smartphone or tablet. Blossom offers its products through Amazon and on their website. About ScottsMiracle-Gro The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are among the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed near worldwide by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we maintain a minority interest in a joint venture with TruGreen®, the largest residential lawn care service business, and in Bonnie Plants®, the largest marketer of edible gardening plants in retail channels.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scottsmiraclegro.com. Blossom is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Google Inc.


A quick browse through marijuana-related news provides just a glimpse of the progress being made in the mammoth industry. In Vermont, a landmark bill legalized marijuana for adults over 21, marking the first time a state legislature has ever originated and passed a marijuana legalization bill. Previously, adult-use legalization measures in the U.S. were passed by popular citizen vote. Massachusetts and Maine are also moving forward, with retail stores expected to open in both states in 2018. In Oregon, the City of Portland is backing cannabis businesses in lobbying for a bill that would permit marijuana consumption at licensed lounges, similar to tobacco smoking patios. These are only the latest in a wave of headline-making happenings related to marijuana legalization efforts throughout the country. Companies like SinglePoint (SING) are well-aware of these developments and are making headway in their respective niches. SinglePoint is building an acquisition portfolio of undervalued subsidiaries with a focus on innovative technologies. When it comes to opportunities in the marijuana industry, SinglePoint's strategy is to provide various ancillary services and non-plant-based solutions to dispensaries, growers and consumers. Due to federal restrictions, marijuana businesses lack access to banking options, but industry experts expect this to change. Anticipating the need for electronic payment options once the industry does become bankable (http://nnw.fm/8oB02), SinglePoint has structured its cannabis brand subsidiary, http://www.SingleSeed.com, as a hub for the online sale of cannabis products to marijuana dispensaries. When the tide turns, SinglePoint will be a 'first mover' in providing payment solutions to cannabis businesses through its SingleSeed Payments, which is geared up to provide payment solutions such as mobile marketing, cashless ATM, Pay-by-Text™ and text message marketing (http://nnw.fm/W84Lt). Ready at the gates, SingleSeed.com has become a standout resource for marijuana dispensaries seeking merchant payment processing solutions and other business tools. Waiting on this opportunity doesn't mean inaction, however. SinglePoint in early May announced (http://nnw.fm/QjJ9m) its plans to start onboarding 'high risk' merchant accounts, a category of more than 100 types of businesses, including auctions, vape pen sales, gambling, online gaming and more, which typically offer higher margins than traditional accounts. "We are providing multiple solutions to the cannabis space and we are trying to do the same in the payments space as well," SinglePoint CEO Greg Lambrecht stated in the news release. "Being able to offer a payment solution to multiple different verticals gives the company a larger target market to tap into. We believe high risk is a huge opportunity and an underserved market at this point." SinglePoint's core business strategy (http://nnw.fm/obb8Z) is one of diversification and the relentless pursuit of building corporate value. On point, the company earlier this year announced its investment in Convectium, a profitable provider of equipment, branding and packaging solutions to the marijuana industry. Convectium has developed the very first cartridge and vape pen oil filling machines created for wholesale distribution to cannabis dispensaries. The company's 710Shark and 710Seal machines, currently sold through its EquipCanna.com brand, can fill and package more than 100 cartridges or disposable vape pens in 30 seconds, providing an attractive alternative to the traditional, time-consuming method of hand-filling cartridges. Also, operating consumer brands HazeSticks and BlackoutX, Convectium has a market reach into more than 52 countries. SinglePoint also recently signed a Letter of Intent (http://nnw.fm/0iSI1) to acquire 90 percent of California-based Discount Indoor Garden Supply ('DIGS'), a provider of growing equipment and accessories for individual or commercial plant cultivators. In addition to its online store (http://www.DIGSHydro.com), DIGS operates two store-front locations with plans for a third in the near future. This acquisition is expected to bring immediate revenues to SinglePoint as it deepens its reach in the State of California, which houses thousands of cannabis-related businesses. Through DIGS, SinglePoint will be able to offer soil and supplies similar to a household brand and recognizable player in the marijuana industry, Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG). Well known for its lawn and garden care products, Scotts Miracle-Gro is also heavily investing in hydroponics - the method of growing plants without soil - a method primarily used in indoor and urban gardening. Hydroponics has also become the standard for growth in the marijuana industry. In May 2016, The Hawthorne Gardening Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro, spent $136.2 million on the acquisition of a 75 percent stake in greenhouse and hydroponic indoor lighting producer Gavita. In October 2016, The Hawthorne Gardening Company also acquired American Agritech, which is a hydroponic growing systems and plant supplements producer. Industry peer Medical Marijuana (OTC: MJNA) is taking a unique approach to providing marijuana products without waiting for federal governmental approval to do so. The company has discovered a way to work within federal government cannabis restrictions to legally offer high-quality cannabis-derived products in the United States. The key to doing so pertains to non-psychoactive cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), which has a wide variety of potential health applications but does not rely on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis. MJNA's approach is to grow low-THC varieties of cannabis (hemp) outside the United States, create CBD hemp oil, and import it to the United States. Taken from carefully cultivated hemp plants, CBD hemp oil is an extract that is completely legal, non-psychoactive, contains a full spectrum of phytocannabinoids, is high in CBD and has almost no THC, making it legal to sell in the U.S. MJNA's products, provided through the HempMeds and Kannaway distribution divisions, include pure CBD hemp oil extracts, sprays, tinctures, capsules, vaporizers, bath and body products and chewing gum. Along with selling CBD hemp oil products to more than 200,000 individuals in the U.S., MJNA has also been able to offer the first legal marijuana products in Brazil and Mexico. Recently, the company's Kannaway brand expanded into the European marketplace and is expected to be fully operational there by the fourth quarter of 2017. Another company set to cash-in on the evolution in the marijuana industry is Kush Bottles (OTCQB: KSHB). Getting its footing in 2010 as a provider of cutting-edge packaging solutions for the marijuana industry, Kush Bottles has since expanded its product line, which now ranges from custom packaging and labeling items to point-of-sale products like grinders, papers, lighters and glass pieces. Kush Bottles serves thousands of cannabis dispensaries, retail shops, growers and consumers and has become a leading packaging supply and services company that exclusively addresses the needs of the marijuana industry. Recently, Kush Bottles added the web domain Roll-uh-Bowl.com to its list of acquisitions. Attracting an average of 39,500 web users monthly, Roll-Uh-Bowl.com is an online distribution platform for the retail sale of collapsible, unbreakable medical-grade silicone water pipes. Canopy Growth (OTC: TWMJF) is also successfully navigating the marijuana market. A leading global diversified cannabis company, Canopy Growth operates various diverse brands and curated strain varieties that are supported by more than half a million square feet of indoor greenhouse production capacity and that are also partnered with some of the biggest names in the sector. The company's core brands include Tweed, which has become one of the most recognized marijuana production brands in the world; Bedrocan medical-grade cannabis; and the Mettrum natural health brand. Consumer demand, political support, and public opinion are powerful drivers behind the movement toward legalized marijuana, and present an increasing number of opportunities for companies to profit. The named companies are among standouts in this sector that are successfully navigating the growing cannabis market and implementing smart strategies to capitalize on its manifold opportunities. For more information on SinglePoint please visit: Singlepoint (SING) or http://www.SinglePoint.com NetworkNewsWire (NNW) is an information service that provides to users (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) enhanced press release services, and (3) a full array of social communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, NNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. NNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today's market, NNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. NNW is where news, content and information converge. Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the NetworkNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by NNW, wherever published or re-published: http://NNW.fm/Disclaimer DISCLAIMER: NetworkNewsWire (NNW) is the source of the Article and content set forth above. References to any issuer other than the profiled issuer are intended solely to identify industry participants and do not constitute an endorsement of any issuer and do not constitute a comparison to the profiled issuer. FN Media Group (FNM) is a third-party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated with NNW or any company mentioned herein. The commentary, views and opinions expressed in this release by NNW are solely those of NNW and are not shared by and do not reflect in any manner the views or opinions of FNM. Readers of this Article and content agree that they cannot and will not seek to hold liable NNW and FNM for any investment decisions by their readers or subscribers. NNW and FNM and their respective affiliated companies are a news dissemination and financial marketing solutions provider and are NOT registered broker-dealers/analysts/investment advisers, hold no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security. The Article and content related to the profiled company represent the personal and subjective views of the Author, and are subject to change at any time without notice. The information provided in the Article and the content has been obtained from sources which the Author believes to be reliable. However, the Author has not independently verified or otherwise investigated all such information. None of the Author, NNW, FNM, or any of their respective affiliates, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any such information. This Article and content are not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular security or course of action; readers are strongly urged to speak with their own investment advisor and review all of the profiled issuer's filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission before making any investment decisions and should understand the risks associated with an investment in the profiled issuer's securities, including, but not limited to, the complete loss of your investment. NNW & FNM HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE. This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may", "future", "plan" or "planned", "will" or "should", "expected," "anticipates", "draft", "eventually" or "projected". You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company's annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements.  The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and NNW and FNM undertake no obligation to update such statements.


A quick browse through marijuana-related news provides just a glimpse of the progress being made in the mammoth industry. In Vermont, a landmark bill legalized marijuana for adults over 21, marking the first time a state legislature has ever originated and passed a marijuana legalization bill. Previously, adult-use legalization measures in the U.S. were passed by popular citizen vote. Massachusetts and Maine are also moving forward, with retail stores expected to open in both states in 2018. In Oregon, the City of Portland is backing cannabis businesses in lobbying for a bill that would permit marijuana consumption at licensed lounges, similar to tobacco smoking patios. These are only the latest in a wave of headline-making happenings related to marijuana legalization efforts throughout the country. Companies like SinglePoint (SING) are well-aware of these developments and are making headway in their respective niches. SinglePoint is building an acquisition portfolio of undervalued subsidiaries with a focus on innovative technologies. When it comes to opportunities in the marijuana industry, SinglePoint's strategy is to provide various ancillary services and non-plant-based solutions to dispensaries, growers and consumers. Due to federal restrictions, marijuana businesses lack access to banking options, but industry experts expect this to change. Anticipating the need for electronic payment options once the industry does become bankable (http://nnw.fm/8oB02), SinglePoint has structured its cannabis brand subsidiary, http://www.SingleSeed.com, as a hub for the online sale of cannabis products to marijuana dispensaries. When the tide turns, SinglePoint will be a 'first mover' in providing payment solutions to cannabis businesses through its SingleSeed Payments, which is geared up to provide payment solutions such as mobile marketing, cashless ATM, Pay-by-Text™ and text message marketing (http://nnw.fm/W84Lt). Ready at the gates, SingleSeed.com has become a standout resource for marijuana dispensaries seeking merchant payment processing solutions and other business tools. Waiting on this opportunity doesn't mean inaction, however. SinglePoint in early May announced (http://nnw.fm/QjJ9m) its plans to start onboarding 'high risk' merchant accounts, a category of more than 100 types of businesses, including auctions, vape pen sales, gambling, online gaming and more, which typically offer higher margins than traditional accounts. "We are providing multiple solutions to the cannabis space and we are trying to do the same in the payments space as well," SinglePoint CEO Greg Lambrecht stated in the news release. "Being able to offer a payment solution to multiple different verticals gives the company a larger target market to tap into. We believe high risk is a huge opportunity and an underserved market at this point." SinglePoint's core business strategy (http://nnw.fm/obb8Z) is one of diversification and the relentless pursuit of building corporate value. On point, the company earlier this year announced its investment in Convectium, a profitable provider of equipment, branding and packaging solutions to the marijuana industry. Convectium has developed the very first cartridge and vape pen oil filling machines created for wholesale distribution to cannabis dispensaries. The company's 710Shark and 710Seal machines, currently sold through its EquipCanna.com brand, can fill and package more than 100 cartridges or disposable vape pens in 30 seconds, providing an attractive alternative to the traditional, time-consuming method of hand-filling cartridges. Also, operating consumer brands HazeSticks and BlackoutX, Convectium has a market reach into more than 52 countries. SinglePoint also recently signed a Letter of Intent (http://nnw.fm/0iSI1) to acquire 90 percent of California-based Discount Indoor Garden Supply ('DIGS'), a provider of growing equipment and accessories for individual or commercial plant cultivators. In addition to its online store (http://www.DIGSHydro.com), DIGS operates two store-front locations with plans for a third in the near future. This acquisition is expected to bring immediate revenues to SinglePoint as it deepens its reach in the State of California, which houses thousands of cannabis-related businesses. Through DIGS, SinglePoint will be able to offer soil and supplies similar to a household brand and recognizable player in the marijuana industry, Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG). Well known for its lawn and garden care products, Scotts Miracle-Gro is also heavily investing in hydroponics - the method of growing plants without soil - a method primarily used in indoor and urban gardening. Hydroponics has also become the standard for growth in the marijuana industry. In May 2016, The Hawthorne Gardening Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro, spent $136.2 million on the acquisition of a 75 percent stake in greenhouse and hydroponic indoor lighting producer Gavita. In October 2016, The Hawthorne Gardening Company also acquired American Agritech, which is a hydroponic growing systems and plant supplements producer. Industry peer Medical Marijuana (OTC: MJNA) is taking a unique approach to providing marijuana products without waiting for federal governmental approval to do so. The company has discovered a way to work within federal government cannabis restrictions to legally offer high-quality cannabis-derived products in the United States. The key to doing so pertains to non-psychoactive cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), which has a wide variety of potential health applications but does not rely on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis. MJNA's approach is to grow low-THC varieties of cannabis (hemp) outside the United States, create CBD hemp oil, and import it to the United States. Taken from carefully cultivated hemp plants, CBD hemp oil is an extract that is completely legal, non-psychoactive, contains a full spectrum of phytocannabinoids, is high in CBD and has almost no THC, making it legal to sell in the U.S. MJNA's products, provided through the HempMeds and Kannaway distribution divisions, include pure CBD hemp oil extracts, sprays, tinctures, capsules, vaporizers, bath and body products and chewing gum. Along with selling CBD hemp oil products to more than 200,000 individuals in the U.S., MJNA has also been able to offer the first legal marijuana products in Brazil and Mexico. Recently, the company's Kannaway brand expanded into the European marketplace and is expected to be fully operational there by the fourth quarter of 2017. Another company set to cash-in on the evolution in the marijuana industry is Kush Bottles (OTCQB: KSHB). Getting its footing in 2010 as a provider of cutting-edge packaging solutions for the marijuana industry, Kush Bottles has since expanded its product line, which now ranges from custom packaging and labeling items to point-of-sale products like grinders, papers, lighters and glass pieces. Kush Bottles serves thousands of cannabis dispensaries, retail shops, growers and consumers and has become a leading packaging supply and services company that exclusively addresses the needs of the marijuana industry. Recently, Kush Bottles added the web domain Roll-uh-Bowl.com to its list of acquisitions. Attracting an average of 39,500 web users monthly, Roll-Uh-Bowl.com is an online distribution platform for the retail sale of collapsible, unbreakable medical-grade silicone water pipes. Canopy Growth (OTC: TWMJF) is also successfully navigating the marijuana market. A leading global diversified cannabis company, Canopy Growth operates various diverse brands and curated strain varieties that are supported by more than half a million square feet of indoor greenhouse production capacity and that are also partnered with some of the biggest names in the sector. The company's core brands include Tweed, which has become one of the most recognized marijuana production brands in the world; Bedrocan medical-grade cannabis; and the Mettrum natural health brand. Consumer demand, political support, and public opinion are powerful drivers behind the movement toward legalized marijuana, and present an increasing number of opportunities for companies to profit. The named companies are among standouts in this sector that are successfully navigating the growing cannabis market and implementing smart strategies to capitalize on its manifold opportunities. For more information on SinglePoint please visit: Singlepoint (SING) or http://www.SinglePoint.com NetworkNewsWire (NNW) is an information service that provides to users (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) enhanced press release services, and (3) a full array of social communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, NNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. NNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today's market, NNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. NNW is where news, content and information converge. Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the NetworkNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by NNW, wherever published or re-published: http://NNW.fm/Disclaimer DISCLAIMER: NetworkNewsWire (NNW) is the source of the Article and content set forth above. References to any issuer other than the profiled issuer are intended solely to identify industry participants and do not constitute an endorsement of any issuer and do not constitute a comparison to the profiled issuer. FN Media Group (FNM) is a third-party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated with NNW or any company mentioned herein. The commentary, views and opinions expressed in this release by NNW are solely those of NNW and are not shared by and do not reflect in any manner the views or opinions of FNM. Readers of this Article and content agree that they cannot and will not seek to hold liable NNW and FNM for any investment decisions by their readers or subscribers. NNW and FNM and their respective affiliated companies are a news dissemination and financial marketing solutions provider and are NOT registered broker-dealers/analysts/investment advisers, hold no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security. The Article and content related to the profiled company represent the personal and subjective views of the Author, and are subject to change at any time without notice. The information provided in the Article and the content has been obtained from sources which the Author believes to be reliable. However, the Author has not independently verified or otherwise investigated all such information. None of the Author, NNW, FNM, or any of their respective affiliates, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any such information. This Article and content are not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular security or course of action; readers are strongly urged to speak with their own investment advisor and review all of the profiled issuer's filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission before making any investment decisions and should understand the risks associated with an investment in the profiled issuer's securities, including, but not limited to, the complete loss of your investment. NNW & FNM HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE. This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may", "future", "plan" or "planned", "will" or "should", "expected," "anticipates", "draft", "eventually" or "projected". You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company's annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements.  The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and NNW and FNM undertake no obligation to update such statements.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

IRVINE, Calif., May 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Starting today, the Blossom Smart Watering Controller works with the Google Assistant on Google Home, bringing the benefits of voice control to the smart yard. The Google Assistant is already available on more than 100M devices, and can be activated on Blossom devices by asking your Assistant on Google Home to “Talk to Blossom.” Featuring Wi-Fi connectivity and a sleek, slim, low-profile design, Blossom is a simple, cost-effective solution that takes the guesswork out of controlling sprinklers. Tapping into the power of cloud computing, Blossom self-programs existing sprinklers based on local forecast and data from weather stations and satellites – combined with user feedback – to create the ideal watering schedule. Blossom’s technology ensures that each section of a yard is specifically watered based on layout and vegetation. Built on the belief that IoT technology should make life easier instead of more complicated, Blossom allows users to truly ‘set it and forget it.’ Installation is easy and can be done in as little as 15 minutes (a simple retrofit of the existing sprinkler controller). Blossom builds a smart watering schedule via Wi-Fi connectivity and does everything on its own. “The Internet of Things revolution is transforming our everyday lives – so we are making the smart yard accessible by voice from anywhere in the home via integration with the Google Assistant on Google Home,” said Josh Peoples, Vice President and General Manager of Scotts, the owner of Blossom. “With this collaboration, we are moving Blossom into the next generation of smart home connectivity and allowing our customers to remotely operate their devices in a variety of ways through voice commands.” Blossom has an extremely user-friendly interface, is aesthetically pleasing and automates sprinklers with real-time weather data. In addition to voice control, users can control Blossom from their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and stay connected to their yard – no matter where they are. Acquired in 2016, Blossom is part of the ScottsMiracle-Gro family and an early launch of the Connected Yard, its IoT solution to provide consumers with precision watering and other guidance to achieve healthy lawns and gardens. Connected Yard and Blossom support the company’s Water Positive ™ Landscapes Initiative that brings water stewardship to the forefront of lawn and garden. For more details, please visit myblossom.com. About Blossom Blossom is a smart connected home device for controlling lawn sprinklers. Leveraging the power of cloud computing and real time weather data to optimize the irrigation schedule used to manage existing sprinklers, Blossom gives users easy access to control the watering of their garden from their smartphone or tablet. Blossom offers its products through Amazon and on their website. About ScottsMiracle-Gro The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are among the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed near worldwide by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we maintain a minority interest in a joint venture with TruGreen®, the largest residential lawn care service business, and in Bonnie Plants®, the largest marketer of edible gardening plants in retail channels.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scottsmiraclegro.com. Blossom is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Google Inc.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

IRVINE, Calif., May 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Starting today, the Blossom Smart Watering Controller works with the Google Assistant on Google Home, bringing the benefits of voice control to the smart yard. The Google Assistant is already available on more than 100M devices, and can be activated on Blossom devices by asking your Assistant on Google Home to “Talk to Blossom.” Featuring Wi-Fi connectivity and a sleek, slim, low-profile design, Blossom is a simple, cost-effective solution that takes the guesswork out of controlling sprinklers. Tapping into the power of cloud computing, Blossom self-programs existing sprinklers based on local forecast and data from weather stations and satellites – combined with user feedback – to create the ideal watering schedule. Blossom’s technology ensures that each section of a yard is specifically watered based on layout and vegetation. Built on the belief that IoT technology should make life easier instead of more complicated, Blossom allows users to truly ‘set it and forget it.’ Installation is easy and can be done in as little as 15 minutes (a simple retrofit of the existing sprinkler controller). Blossom builds a smart watering schedule via Wi-Fi connectivity and does everything on its own. “The Internet of Things revolution is transforming our everyday lives – so we are making the smart yard accessible by voice from anywhere in the home via integration with the Google Assistant on Google Home,” said Josh Peoples, Vice President and General Manager of Scotts, the owner of Blossom. “With this collaboration, we are moving Blossom into the next generation of smart home connectivity and allowing our customers to remotely operate their devices in a variety of ways through voice commands.” Blossom has an extremely user-friendly interface, is aesthetically pleasing and automates sprinklers with real-time weather data. In addition to voice control, users can control Blossom from their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and stay connected to their yard – no matter where they are. Acquired in 2016, Blossom is part of the ScottsMiracle-Gro family and an early launch of the Connected Yard, its IoT solution to provide consumers with precision watering and other guidance to achieve healthy lawns and gardens. Connected Yard and Blossom support the company’s Water Positive ™ Landscapes Initiative that brings water stewardship to the forefront of lawn and garden. For more details, please visit myblossom.com. About Blossom Blossom is a smart connected home device for controlling lawn sprinklers. Leveraging the power of cloud computing and real time weather data to optimize the irrigation schedule used to manage existing sprinklers, Blossom gives users easy access to control the watering of their garden from their smartphone or tablet. Blossom offers its products through Amazon and on their website. About ScottsMiracle-Gro The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are among the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed near worldwide by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we maintain a minority interest in a joint venture with TruGreen®, the largest residential lawn care service business, and in Bonnie Plants®, the largest marketer of edible gardening plants in retail channels.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scottsmiraclegro.com. Blossom is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Google Inc.

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