Coke eyes cannabis-infused drink market

Alicia Cross
September 18, 2018

But unlike other recent deals between alcohol companies and cannabis producers who make beverages to give consumers a "buzz", Coca-Cola and Aurora are reportedly looking to make drinks that would ease inflammations, pain, and cramping.

Coke stock gained slightly on a NY market weakened by concerns over trade tariffs.

Coke says it's following the debate over the ingredient cannabidiol or CBD oil.

Two weeks later, spirits company Constellation Brands announced a new $4 billion in investment in Canada's Canopy Growth in exchange for a 38 percent stake in Canopy.

Beer giant Molson Coors announced August 1 it was teaming up with Canadian medical marijuana grower The Hydropothecary Corporation to develop cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beverages. (KO) is exploring an entry into marijuana-infused beverages market, according to BNN Bloomberg.

Coca-Cola is considering a move into the growing market for cannabis-infused drinks. Lagunitas, a craft beer label of Heineken, already has a drink infused with THC, which can be purchased at marijuana dispensaries in California.

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Talk of a wellness beverage is reminiscent of Coca-Cola's 1880s roots as an elixir infamously containing a dose of cocaine derived from coca leaves, an ingredient phased out of the drink more than a century ago.

Canada is the first major economy to legalize recreational marijuana, and shares in cannabis producers have rallied in anticipation.

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.

Sales in USA legal markets should almost triple to $16 billion by 2020 from $5.4 billion in 2015, according to market research firm Euromonitor International, and Constellation says cannabis globally could be worth $200 billion in 15 years.

However, in a statement on Monday Coke said they are "closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages".

'It's going to be more of the "recovery drink" category'.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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