Coca-Cola could be looking to make cannabis-infused beverages

Adjust Comment Print

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

The Atlanta based drinks giant, which own over 500 brands including Sprite, Fanta and Costa Coffee, is in advanced discussions with Canadian company Aurora Cannabis.

Coca-Cola has been eyeing cannabis-infused drinks, according to a statement.

Would you down a cannabis-infused Coke?

Another company, Constellation Brands (which makes Corona beer and Svedka vodka) announced in August it is investing $4 billion in Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth. According to BNN Bloomberg, products containing CBD, are expected to become a $2.1 billion industry by 2020.

Coca-Cola said yesterday that it was "closely watching" the market for cannabidiol (CBD) drinks after a report suggested that it was close to making one.

Several major beer companies have also recently announced plans to make cannabis-infused drinks, both with and without alcohol.

"The space is evolving quickly", spokesman Ken Landers told Bloomberg.

Coca Cola's statement follows reports that it had been discussing a tie-up with the Canadian marijuana company Aurora Cannabis to produce a health drink.

Coca-Cola's statement shows the company has learned from its past missteps picking up on new-drink trends, said Ali Dibadj, a senior analyst at AllianceBernstein with an expertise in US beverage and snack-food companies.

"It's like so many things we see with Canada and the United States", Greenwood added.

Aurora was up more than 15% in early trading Monday following the report. 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.

So, with fizzy drinks are becoming increasingly unpopular (no thanks to our pal, Jamie Oliver), Bloomberg reports that the the global franchise is looking to delve into the cannabis sector.

In the U.S., medicinal use is allowed in 29 states and the District of Columbia and nine of the states have legalised both medical and personal cannabis use.