Coke eyes cannabis-infused drink market

Coca-Cola may begin making Cannabis Drinks soon | BellaNaija

Shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. were up as much as 17 per cent Monday after a report the marijuana producer was in talks with the Coca-Cola Company to develop pot-infused drinks. Coke added that despite their interest in the infused-drink market, "The space is evolving quickly".

Coca-Cola insisted "no decisions have been made at this time" and said it would not comment on further speculation.

The Bloomberg report follows other deals between USA beverage companies and pot producers in Canada, where recreational use of marijuana becomes legal next month across the country, followed by consumable forms of the drug next year.

The move would make Coke the first major manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverages to step into the market for cannabis-related products, following announcements by Corona maker Constellation Brands (STZ.N) and Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP.N).

Now it's being reported that Coca-Cola is next to get involved as the soft drinks behemoth is said to be in "serious talks" to develop a cannabis-infused bev.

The company is interested in cannabidiol oil in particular, one of two primary marijuana molecules. The company is looking to branch into the cannabis beverage market, according to a report.

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Coca-Cola did not respond to questions about Aurora or any other Canadian cannabis companies. It is the non-psychoactive chemical component of marijuana used for medicinal goal which doesn't produce the high that usually comes from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The drinks will be more about helping consumers with inflammation, pain and cramping and not about getting drinkers high, sources told Bloomberg.

Coca-Cola's shares rose marginally in early trade on Monday.

"We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis", read the company's short and terse sounding statement. That's a non-psychoactive ingredient derived from marijuana.

While marijuana remains illegal at the national level in the US, there is growing acceptance of the use of CBD derived from marijuana to treat illnesses ranging from chronic pain to anxiety and epilepsy. The Edmonton, Alberta-based company has soared along with other pot stocks in Canada as the country gears up to become the first Group of Seven nation to legalize cannabis on October 17.

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