Coca-Cola is ‘closely watching’ the cannabis space — and is reportedly eyeing a deal with one of Canada’s biggest producers.
As Canada prepares to become the first G7 Country to legalize cannabis in mid-October, the business landscape is changing at breakneck speed.
There is no bigger signal that the stigma around cannabis is rapidly dissolving than the universally recognized Coca-Cola Co. considering the CBD-infused drink market.
Coca-Cola is said to be in discussions with Aurora Cannabis to develop beverages infused with CBD, one of the non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis, Bloomberg News reported Monday.
While neither company confirmed the talks, Coca-Cola said:
“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,” Coca-Cola said in a statement, according to CNBC Monday. “No decisions have been made at this time.”
“The space is evolving quickly,” spokesman Ken Landers told Bloomberg. “No decisions have been made at this time.”
Aurora was up more than 15% in early trading Monday following the report. Through a spokesperson, the company said it intends to enter the beverage space, but could not confirm Coca-Cola talks.
“Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market,” it said. “There is so much happening in this area right now and we think it has incredible potential. As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented.”
CBD sodas like Sprig, already exist and have shown beverage giants like Constellation Brands that there is a major market opportunity for drinkable cannabis. Earlier this year, Constellation Brands, the makers of Corona and Modelo, announced that they would be partnering with Canopy Growth Ltd to create a cannabis-infused beer. At that time, The President of Constellation estimated that cannabis would be a 50 billion dollar business in the United States alone.
If companies like Coca-Cola are seriously considering the benefits of cannabis-based products, one wonders when the United States government will seriously do the same?