Coca-Cola considering cannabis beverages


The Atlanta-based beverage company is reportedly in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis to develop the drinks, according to Bloomberg.

Coke's possible foray into the marijuana sector comes as beverage makers are trying to add cannabis as a trendy ingredient while their traditional businesses slow.

Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor also declined to comment about any talks with Coca-Cola, but did confirm that her company does intend to enter the infused beverage market. Aurora's stock soared 17 percent, while Coke's edged up slightly. The drinks would aim to relieve pain with CBD rather than give the "high" associated with inhaling marijuana. At the beginning of August, it was announced that Canadian brewer Molson Coors had struck a deal with The Hydropothecary Corporation, a Canadian cannabis producer, to launch a new standalone business which aims to develop "non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalisation". Lagunitas, a craft beer label of Heineken, already has a drink infused with THC, which can be purchased at marijuana dispensaries in California.

This isn't the first time Coca-Cola expressed interest in CBD and cannabis. She said she would not be surprised to hear of a similar deal by PepsiCo for its Gatorade drink.

However, following the news, the Coca-Cola Company released a statement of their own, stating that, as of now, they were only exploring their options.

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Back in June, Canada became the second country in the world to legalise recreational marijuana.

The talks come as Canada prepares to legalise cannabis for recreational use, after many years of permitting it for medicinal purposes.

Sales in US legal markets should almost triple to $16 billion by 2020 from $5.4 billion in 2015, according to market research firm Euromonitor International, and Constellation says cannabis globally could be worth $200 billion in 15 years.

When asked about the potential partnership by BNN Bloomberg, Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers said that the company, along with many others in the industry, is "closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world".