Coca-Cola Preparing To Make Cannabis-Infused Drink For The Fist Time Ever

Coca-Cola in ‘serious talks’ about branching into cannabis beverage market – report

Andres Stapff & Regis Duvignau Reuters

Shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. were up as much as 17 per cent today after a report the marijuana producer was in talks with the Coca-Cola Company to develop pot-infused drinks. "No decisions have been made at this time", Coke added.

Molson Coors Brewing starting a joint venture with Quebec's Hexo's Corp., formerly known as Hydropothecary Corp., to develop cannabis drinks in Canada.

Cannabis drinks use cannabidiol (CBD) as an ingredient for wellness drinks.

A partnership between Coke and Aurora would mark the first entry of a major manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverages into the market for cannabis-related products.

The discussions, which are said to be "serious", concern a line of drinks that would contain the non-psychoactive cannabidiol chemical, meaning consumers wouldn't drink the beverages to catch a buzz but rather to ease pain or inflammation.

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Coca-Cola may be looking into a new ingredient. The iconic beverage brand hopes to partner with Canada's number two cannabis company in the CBD market, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid commonly found in marijuana and hemp plants.

Big corporate names have inched into the marijuana industry since Canada approved recreational use, seeing the country as a production base and testing ground until U.S. Federal Law changes. It should be noted that Coca-Cola shares have risen since the news was announced. Just last week, Coke announced a deal to buy Costa Coffee for $5 billion.

The world's largest spirits maker Diageo (DGE.L) is also reportedly in talks with at least three Canadian cannabis producers as it considers a possible investment. Lagunitas, a craft beer label of Heineken, already has a drink infused with THC, which can be purchased at marijuana dispensaries in California.

Heather MacGregor, a spokeswoman for Aurora, said in an emailed statement that the cannabis producer has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space, and intends to enter that market, BNN Bloomberg's David George-Cosh reported.

There is no guarantee that talks between the companies will be successful or that a commercial agreement would be made public, BNN Bloomberg reported.

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