Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Coca-Cola In Talks To Produce Pot-Infused Drink

Coca-Cola In Talks To Produce Pot-Infused Drink

Coca-Cola is considering a move into the growing market for cannabis-infused drinks.

The world's largest drinks company is in talks with major Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis, but stressed that it was interested in the properties of cannabis that treat pain but do not get users high.

While neither company confirmed the talks, Coca-Cola said it was "closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world".

'The space is evolving quickly.

It says it hasn't made any decisions about using it in coke products.

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

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According to Business Insider, shares of Aurora jumped 15 percent during early Monday trading after the Coca-Cola report broke.

Canada is in the process of legalizing recreational use of marijuana. (KO) is exploring an entry into marijuana-infused beverages market, according to BNN Bloomberg.

The drinks will be more about helping consumers with inflammation, pain and cramping and not about getting drinkers high, sources told Bloomberg. Tying itself to cannabis would give Coca-Cola a slightly edgier appearance that would contrast from a company that relies on its iconic labeling and marketing campaigns such as its polar bear ads during the holidays to lure customer interest. "There is so much happening in this area right now and we think it has incredible potential", said Aurora's director of communications Heather MacGregor in an emailed statement.

While marijuana remains illegal at the national level in the USA, there is growing acceptance of the use of CBD derived from marijuana to treat illnesses ranging from chronic pain to anxiety and epilepsy.

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.

Aurora is Canada's third-largest pot company, with a market value of C$8.7 billion. Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona beer, Svedka vodka and Casa Noble tequila, announced in August that it's investing an additional $4 billion in the Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth.

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