MARYSVILLE, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — The strategy vice president in the cannabis supply subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. worked his way up through the Marysville company over two decades, starting with a college internship.

He and Chris Hagedorn, president of Hawthorne Gardening Co., worked side by side as Scotts (NYSE: SMG) built the hydroponics division through $1.4 billion in acquisitions over eight years.

Hagedorn ate at the executive’s house, met his children – and this June fired him.

“We let him go not because he did anything wrong – we couldn’t afford him,” Hagedorn, Scotts executive vice president, told Columbus Business First. “That was really hard.”

Hagedorn said he does not regret the company’s aggressive growth strategy over the past few years, grabbing dominant market share in a then-booming cannabis industry. In a past year Hawthorne could have made $100 million more in sales but needed distribution capacity.

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