Coke explores possibility of using cannabis in wellness drinks

By: AP September 18,2018 - 10:58 PM

Bottles of Coca Cola sit on a shelf in a market in Pittsburgh in this Aug. 8 2018 photo. The softdrinks firm is closely watching the use of cannabis in health drinks.
AP PHOTO

THE Coca-Cola Company said Monday it is “closely watching” the expanding use of a cannabis element in drinks, another sign cannabis and cannabis-infused products are getting more acceptance in mainstream culture and a harder look from long-established pillars of American business.

The statement came after reports the beverage giant was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company to create a health drink infused with cannabidiol, a naturally occurring non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant. Shares of the company, Aurora Cannabis Inc., closed up nearly 17 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the report.

Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment on the report but acknowledged their interest in that segment of the cannabis market.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, does not produce the high commonly associated with marijuana. It is believed by many to have anti-inflammation and pain-relieving properties, and numerous CBD-infused products have emerged recently.

Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said her company “has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space and we intend to enter that market.”

A Coke spokesman said the beverage giant has made no such decision.

“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. The space is evolving quickly,” Coke spokesman Kent Landers said.

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TAGS: Cannabis, Coke, drinks, explores, possibility, using, wellness

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