Coca-Cola considers cannabis-infused drinks

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Coca-Cola may be looking into a new ingredient. While sales in sugary sodas have slowed down, Reuters notes that health drinks are on the rise.

The marijuana industry has been attracting interest from a handful of big corporate names as Canada and a wave of USA states move to legalize recreational use of the drug.

If true, the talks could represent the most significant deal in the history of the cannabis industry.

"Entry into a legalized Canadian market allows them to develop and build a brand while not breaking any laws".

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. The drinks would aim to relieve pain with CBD rather than give the "high" associated with inhaling marijuana.

A hemp plant and a marijuana plant
A hemp plant and a marijuana plant

Molson Coors Brewing Co.is starting a joint venture with Quebec's Hexo's Corp., formerly known as Hydropothecary Corp., to develop cannabis drinks in Canada.

While recent events have seen adult-beverage makers jump into the infused-beverages space, some believe the non-alcoholic infused-beverage markets may hold the key.

According to a report by the Hemp Business Journal, the CBD market is estimated to grow to $2.1 billion by 2020, from $202 million in 2015. The company last month said it would acquire the Costa Coffee chain for $5.1 billion. The drinks would not include THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces a high. It does not cause intoxication. Tilray was up about 7% while Canopy Growth and Cronos Group were both up about 2%.

Aurora's shares surged on the news, jumping as much as 23 percent Monday in NY to $8.

Azer said he would not be surprised by a similar move from Pepsi with "with CBD seemingly a good compliment to their market share leading Gatorade franchise". The investment follows a deal previous year in which Constellation acquired a almost 10 per cent stake in Canopy and the two companies agreed to collaborate on the development of cannabis-based drinks.

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