Coca-Cola in ‘serious talks’ about branching into cannabis beverage market

17 September, 2018, 23:04 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Coca-Cola bottles

The news comes as more USA 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.

That makes such drinks a great opportunity for beverage makers to diversify their product lines and many have already begun to do so.

"The space is evolving quickly", Coke said.

A source close to the negotiations between the companies said: 'They're pretty advanced down the path of doing a deal.

The world's largest drinks company is in talks with major Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis, but stressed that it was interested in the properties of cannabis that treat pain but do not get users high.

Unlike other deals between alcohol makers and cannabis producers aimed at making drinks that will give consumers a "buzz" similar to inhaling marijuana, Coca-Cola and Aurora (ACB.TO) would likely develop beverages that will ease inflammation, pain and cramping.

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Coca-Cola's potential foray into marijuana beverages follows a two investments by Constellation Brands, the conglomerate behind drinks like Corona and Svedka, totaling more than $4 billion, into Canopy Growth, the largest publicly traded marijuana firm.

A spokeswoman for Aurora Cannabis said the company has expressed interest in infused drinks and intends to enter that market, but it does not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized.

However, he declined to specifically comment on Aurora Cannabis Inc, and stressed that "no decisions have been made at this time".

Coca-Cola has reportedly looked at other cannabis outlets as potential partners, with one source telling BNN Bloomberg that the company had high-level talks with the Canadian company Aphria Inc two months ago, but that those talks did not progress. 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.

Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Jamaica, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Luxembourg are among countries that have relaxed legislation regarding personal use.

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