Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Coca-Cola Reportedly Interested In The Cannabis Drink Industry

Marijuana on top of a can Shares of Aurora Cannabis WeedMD Aphria and Canna Royalty were all on the rise
Russell Knight | 17 September, 2018, 23:05

The world's largest beverage company, based in Atlanta, is in "serious talks" with Canadian cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis Inc to develop cannabis-infused drinks, sources familiar with the matter told BNN Bloomberg.

The soft drink company is reportedly monitoring the cannabis industry - and is specifically interested in drinks infused with CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that treats pain without a resulting high.

"The space is evolving quickly", Coke said.

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

The development is viewed to cushion Coca-Cola from the adverse effects of its declining sales and also a move to further diversify beyond its traditional base of sugary beverages.

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In addition, a number of Canadian cannabis companies, including Cronos and MedMen Enterprises, now trade on USA stock exchanges, and some American companies have taken stakes. Moreover, the leak sent shares of Aurora surging in early morning trading, with stock prices jumping 16 percent on Monday, holding at US$7.61 as of Monday afternoon.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in marijuana plants that is now legal to consume in many states. Just last week, Coke announced a deal to buy Costa Coffee for $5 billion. At the beginning of August, it was announced that Canadian brewer Molson Coors had struck a deal with The Hydropothecary Corporation, a Canadian cannabis producer, to launch a new standalone business which aims to develop "non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalisation".

The discussions with Aurora are focused on CBD-infused drinks to ease inflammation, pain and cramping, according to the BNN Bloomberg report. Aurora has also expressed interest in cannabis drinks. Cannabidiol - or CBD - is not a mind-altering or psychoactive substance, while its relative, tetrahydrocannabinol - or THC - is. The first-ever medical treatment derived from a marijuana plant will hit the US market soon, after regulators in June gave an epilepsy treatment by GW Pharmaceuticals Plc the green light.

Aurora is Canada's third-largest pot company, with a market value of approximately $7 billion.

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