Have a Coke and a big, big smile: Coca-Cola ‘closely watching’ the cannabis space
Coca-Cola is said to be in discussions with Aurora Cannabis to develop beverages infused with CBD, one of the non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis, Bloomberg News reported overnight.
While neither company confirmed the talks, Coca-Cola said it was “closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.
“The space is evolving quickly,” spokesman Ken Landers told Bloomberg. “No decisions have been made at this time.”
Aurora was up more than 15 per cent in early trading Monday following the report. Through a spokesperson, the company said it intends to enter the beverage space, but could not confirm Coca-Cola talks.
“Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market,” it said.
“There is so much happening in this area right now and we think it has incredible potential.
“As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalised, however we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented.”
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 $US4 billion, into Canopy Growth, the largest publicly traded marijuana firm.
Molson Coors has also entered the marijuana space through a joint venture with Canada’s Hydrotherapy Corporation to make non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.
Monday’s report also catalysed a rally in US and Canadian marijuana stocks.
Tilray was up about 7 per cent while Canopy Growth and Cronos Group were both up about 2 per cent.
Coca-Cola was higher by about 0.4 per cent.
Despite Monday’s pop, shares of Aurora are down 25 per cent this year.