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Miracle-Gro subsidiary accuses investment firm of cannabis ploy

By Mike Scarcella

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Feb 7 (Reuters) - A subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (SMG.N) has sued an investment management company in U.S. court, claiming that it tried to "ruin" the lawn and garden affiliate's $175 million interest in a cannabis industry acquisition firm.

In a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, Scotts Miracle-Gro subsidiary Hawthorne Collective Inc and a related entity on Monday accused JW Asset Management LLC and cannabis operator TerrAscend Corp of violating U.S. antitrust law in their bid to dominate the board of directors of the cannabis acquisition firm, RIV Capital Inc (RIV.CD). JW Asset Management controls TerrAscend.

Hawthorne's lawsuit at its core is focused on the future of the cannabis market in New York. RIV Capital, with the help of Hawthorne's multimillion-dollar investment, last year acquired New York-area cannabis cultivation and retail company Etain LLC for $247 million.