Coca-Cola Seriously Contemplating the Cannabis Industry

Coca-Cola Seriously Contemplating the Cannabis Industry

The company said Monday that it's "closely watching" the use of CBD in "functional wellness" beverages.

Kent Landers, a spokesman from Coca-Cola, declined to comment about Aurora.

Coca-Cola is best known for its eponymous caffeine-based drink, but the firm now appears to be experimenting with a different drug: cannabis.

Coke's interest is another indication of the growing acceptance of cannabis by established companies. Last month, Corona beer brewer Constellation Brands announced it will spend $3.8 billion to increase its stake in Canopy Growth, the Canadian marijuana producer with a value that exceeds C$13 billion ($10 billion). He said he would expect that Coke would develop the product first for sale in Canada, readying it for the United States once it's legal.

It is said to be in talks with Aurora Cannabis to create a drink infused with cannabidiol, a naturally occurring non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant.


Auroa has a "specific interest in the infused beverage space" and intends to enter that market, the Canadian company told CBS MoneyWatch in an email.

The company reportedly is in talks with Canada's Aurora Cannabis to develop the drinks.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the ingredient in marijuana that may help some health problems like pain, inflammation and insomnia.

A source close to the negotiations between the companies said: 'They're pretty advanced down the path of doing a deal. And a new, marijuana-infused drink may show Coke's continued desire to stretch out into beverage sectors other than your standard soft drink.

Coca-Cola's shares rose marginally in early trade yesterday. It's still illegal at the federal level which means federal law enforcement could prosecute cannabis stores or users at any time, although so far they've mostly tolerated CBD products. Among other things, its sells coconut water, prized by many as a recovery drink after a workout. She estimates that cannabis-infused drinks could become a $50 billion annual market in the United States - almost half the size of the $117 billion market for U.S. beer sales.

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