Sector News

Coca-Cola in talks to make marijuana-infused drinks

September 18, 2018
Consumer Packaged Goods

Coke is thinking about pot.

The Coca-Cola Co. is considering a collaboration with Aurora Cannabis to make cannabis-infused beverages, according to BNN Bloomberg. The move, which is still in the discussion phase and not guaranteed to happen, would mark a major shift in the cannabis industry, with one of the world’s largest corporations embracing the drug.

The beverages in question wouldn’t focus on THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana of which Coke has no interest, but rather CBD, which is widely used in wellness products. The proposed product would focus on easing inflammation, pain, and cramping, says Bloomberg.

It’s unclear if the product would be sold in the U.S. or just in Canada, where Aurora Cannabis is based. Similarly unclear is whether Coca-Cola would make a public announcement should the deal come to fruition (or if it would quietly white label a product under the Aurora brand).

Regardless, Coke’s interest in the marijuana industry is significant. The company is the world’s largest beverage maker, responsible for 1.9 billion of the 60 billion beverage servings every day.

It has dramatically expanded its beverage interests to include coffee, tea, water, alcoholic drinks, and more in recent years.

Only one other company in the Fortune 500 holds interests in the marijuana sector. Constellation Brands, which owns a 9.9% stake in the Canadian marijuana company Canopy Growth Corp. (and plans to develop cannabis-infused beverages itself), plans to have a strong presence in the industry.

Coca-Cola declined to comment on the reported talks with Aurora, but told Fortune via a statement “We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis. Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”

By Chris Morris

Source: Fortune

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