During the Gold Rush, it was the merchants selling sifting pans who struck it rich and not the legions of 19th century fortune seekers looking for wealth in California’s rivers.

Santa Rosa brothers Rick and Jason Barretta applied that wisdom to the nascent marijuana industry about 10 years ago when they opened Santa Rosa Hydroponics and Grower Supply in a dilapidated old flower shop on Highway 12 in Rincon Valley. The industry boomed, and so did their business, expanding to a 3-acre property and warehouse in southwest Santa Rosa and reaching annual revenues north of $10 million.

This month, the Barrettas sold Santa Rosa Hydroponics for $1.75 million in cash and $3.5 million in company stock to GrowGeneration, a Colorado-based hydroponic gardening store chain. Jason Barretta said it was a logical next step as California’s new recreational cannabis market brings corporate competition and consolidation to all facets of the industry.

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