Coke in talks to make cannabis-infused drinks

17 Septembre, 2018, 20:36 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Coke in talks to make cannabis-infused drinks

More than a century after Coca-Cola removed cocaine from its secret formula, the multinational beverage giant is in talks with Canada's Aurora Cannabis to develop cannabis-infused drinks.

The drinks would not include THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces a high.

"We do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented", a company spokesperson explained.

Coca-Cola insisted "no decisions have been made at this time" and said it would not comment on further speculation.

Other stocks in the cannabis industry got a boost, with Tilray Inc. adding as much as 9.4 percent in response to Coca-Cola's interest.

While the sources say the talks between Coca-Cola and Aurora are ongoing, there is no guarantee they will be successful or that a commercial agreement would be made public.

At the beginning of August, it was announced that Canadian brewer Molson Coors had struck a deal with The Hydropothecary Corporation, a Canadian cannabis producer, to launch a new standalone business which aims to develop "non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalisation".

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The company is interested in cannabidiol oil in particular, one of two primary marijuana molecules.

Shares of Aurora popped more than 15% on the report, but the company did not confirm the discussions.

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.

It is not clear whether Coca-Cola's plans will eventually extend to the United Kingdom, but the revelation was a surprise to UK-based executives.

"There's a lot of interest from [consumer-packaged goods], and liquor and tobacco [companies] to look at cannabis as a new growth vector", said Martin Landry, managing director of equity research at GMP Securities LP, in an interview with BNN Bloomberg.

Coca-Cola's next big line of products might revolve around a more adult beverage.

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

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