Coke in talks to make cannabis-infused drinks: Report

By Food and BeverageFOXBusiness

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Coca-Cola is reportedly in talks with a Canada-based cannabis producer to make marijuana-infused beverages to help ease drinkers' inflammation and pain, according to a new report from BNN Bloomberg.

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According to the outlet’s sources, the world’s largest beverage company is talking with Aurora Cannabis to develop a health-focused beverage line infused with CBD — the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that can be used to treat pain but doesn’t get users high. The new beverages will be pegged to drinkers who suffer with inflammation, pain or cramping.

If a partnership between Coke and Aurora does go through, the deal would mark the first entry of a major manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverages into the cannabis market.

A Coke spokesman told FOX Business in a statement that it declines to comment on any report of talks with Aurora or others but did say that the company is “closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.”

“The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time,” Coke added.

The move, however, comes as other big beverage makers announced similar partnerships.

Last month, Corona beer maker Constellation Brands Inc. announced plans to increase its stake in another Canadian marijuana producer, Canopy Growth Corp. to $10 billion, while Molson Coors Brewing Co. said it started a joint venture with Hydropothecary Corp. to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages in Canada.

And, according to another BNN Bloomberg report, Diageo PLC, the maker of Guinness beer, is also holding talks with at least three Canadian cannabis producers about a possible deal.

Aurora, in a separate statement to Reuters, said while it would not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, it does

intend to enter the infused beverage space.

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