Coca-Cola Co. says it’s monitoring the nascent industry and is interested in CBD — the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — for beverages as soda consumption slows. The Atlanta-based soft drinks maker is in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis Inc. to develop the drinks, according to a report from BNN Bloomberg Television.
“We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world,” Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg News. “The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”
Landers declined to comment on Aurora.
Coke’s possible foray into the marijuana sector comes as beverage makers are trying to add cannabis as a trendy ingredient while their traditional businesses slow. Last month, Corona beer brewer Constellation Brands Inc.announced it will spend $3.8 billion to increase its stake in Canopy Growth Corp., the Canadian marijuana producer with a value that exceeds C$13 billion ($10 billion).
Molson Coors Brewing Co. is starting a joint venture with Quebec’s Hydropothecary Corp. to develop cannabis drinks in Canada. Diageo PLC, maker of Guinness beer, is holding discussions with at least three Canadian cannabis producers about a possible deal, BNN Bloomberg reported last month. [Read More @ Bloomberg]