Coca-Cola Entering Cannabis Business
Coca-Cola is in talks with cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis to make marijuana-infused beverages.
The companies would likely develop health-focused beverages that will ease inflammation, pain and cramping, the report said, citing sources familiar with the matter.
"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, referring to cannabidiol, a constituent of cannabis.
"No decisions have been made at this time," the beverage group said, adding that it would not comment on further speculation.
Aurora, in a separate statement, said it would not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, but added: "Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market."
A partnership between Coke and Aurora would mark the first entry of a major manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverages into the market for cannabis-related products.
Aurora’s shares surged on the news, jumping as much as 23 percent Monday in New York to $8. Other stocks in the cannabis industry got a boost, with Tilray Inc. adding as much as 9.4 percent in response to Coca-Cola’s interest.
The news comes as more U.S. states move to legalize marijuana for recreational use and as Canada, where Aurora is based, prepares to fully legalize the recreational use of cannabis next month.
There is no guarantee that talks between the companies will be successful or that a commercial agreement would be made public, BNN Bloomberg reported.
Earlier this year, alcohol producer Molson Coors Brewing said it will make cannabis-infused drinks with Hydropothecary, while Corona beer maker Constellation Brands invested $4 billion more into marijuana producer Canopy Growth.