The carbonated soft drink company Coca-Cola is reportedly looking into developing drinks infused with cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD is the legal non-psychoactive compound found in the marijuana plant.
As cannabis industries across the U.S. are seeing an economic boom, companies are developing products with marijuana’s legal sister CBD.
The Hemp Business Journal predicts that CBD will be a $2.1 billion market by 2020, this would be a 700 percent spike from 2016.
With that in mind, Coca-Cola announced it’s considering jumping on the CBD bandwagon.
“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,” said Coca-Cola on Monday. “The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”
The beverage giant made the statement following a report by BNN Bloomberg that claimed that the company had been in discussions with the Canadian cannabis company Aurora Cannabis, according to “multiple sources familiar with the matter.”
Both companies have not denied the report that said Coca-Cola is exploring the idea of a CBD-infused drink as a “functional wellness beverage.” The chemical CBD has been believed to relieve pain and anxiety for users.
“There is so much happening in this area right now and we think it has incredible potential. Stories like this are further validation of the massive global potential of the cannabis industry,” said Heather MacGregor, Aurora spokesperson. “As a rule, 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.”
Following these statements, marijuana stocks spiked. Aurora saw a 17 percent jump Monday.
“Other companies with exposure to the cannabis market, including Tilray and Scotts Miracle-Gro, also gained on the week’s first day of trading. Tilray climbed 10.2 percent and Scotts added 2.99 percent in U.S. trading. Canopy shares added 2.99 percent in Canadian trading,” writes CNBC.
After Coca-Cola’s 2017 revenue was down by 16 percent, the company vowed to focus on “emerging categories.” Apparently, this includes the cannabis industry.
Pepsi Co is also allegedly planning to get into the cannabis drink market too.
Author’s note: It looks like the soda companies are going where the money is. Feeding into addiction means money. It’s similar to Juul, an e-cigarette that pretends to be a smoking alternative. CBD drinks are pretending to be wellness drinks. Marijuana is as addictive as alcohol. About 10 percent of people who use it, get addicted.