Coca-Cola Considering Cannabis Beverages

Coca-Cola says it's eyeing the growing market for health drinks infused with cannabidiol- or CBD- but has made no decisions

Coke added that despite their interest in the infused-drink market, "The space is evolving quickly". "No decisions have been made at this time".

Coca-Cola is considering developing a range of marijuana-infused beverages to help ease physical problems such as inflammation, pain and cramps.

According to the Metro, Aurora Cannabis is Canada's third biggest producer of the substance and the company confirmed it was in talks with Coca-Cola concerning cannabis infused drinks. Aurora has also expressed interest in cannabis drinks. "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.

"There's a number of beverage companies in this space". It can be purchased at marijuana dispensaries in California. The company is reportedly looking into creating drinks containing CBD, the chemical found in marijuana that is thought to relieve pain but doesn't get you high.

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"While there are opportunities in certain states in the U.S. for Coke to develop and sell a product it would put their banking relationships at jeopardy", said Bruce Campbell, a portfolio manager at Stonecastle Investment Management who has invested in marijuana producers.

"I can't imagine they're doing it just for the 35 million people in Canada, they clearly have an eye on the USA market", said Krane. If the deal comes through, it would mark a significant foray into the cannabis sector for the beverage company.

There are already CBD drinks available in some markets, made by brands such as Dirty Lemon, Sprig and Kickback. While sales in sugary sodas have slowed down, Reuters notes that health drinks are on the rise. Last month Coca-Cola announced that it was buying the Costa Coffee chain in a near-£4bn deal that underlined the growing appeal of the global coffee market.

The marijuana industry has been attracting interest from a handful of big corporate names as Canada and a wave of USA states move to legalize recreational use of the drug.

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