Coca-Cola is eyeing the cannabis market

Daniel Fowler
September 21, 2018

"In a separate statement, Aurora said it would not discuss the venture until it has been finalised, but added: "[we have] expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market".

According to Bloomberg, Coke is in talks with a Canadian cannabis company on potential products, but the company says it's just watching the increased use of CBD for now.

The cannabis company said it has had talks with several beverage companies, but does not have a deal.

A Coke spokesman said the beverage giant has made no such decision.

Shares of the company, Aurora Cannabis Inc., closed up almost 17 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the report.

In response to our inquiry, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola directed us to the company's existing public statement and declined to issue any confirmation, clarification, or denial of existing reports about purported talks with Aurora.

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Coke says its an ingredient that could gain ground in wellness beverages globally.

The news follows a month-long span in which pot stocks have been heating up, in part due to news mid-August of a new deal struck between Canopy Growth and beer and alcohol company Constellation Brands, a $5 billion investment from the beverage giant.

The CBD products likely would be different from those produced by alcohol makers, which would likely give drinkers a buzz from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Heineken's Lagunitas craft-brewing label has launched a brand specializing in non-alcoholic drinks infused with THC, marijuana's active ingredient. She said she would not be surprised to hear of a similar deal by PepsiCo for its Gatorade drink.

American companies interested in making a play in the cannabis space can try things out in Canada without risking doing something illegal at home.

Cowen analyst Vivien Azer cited growing consumer interest in CBD and said its properties lend the ingredient well to a sports recovery drink.

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