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Coca-Cola Is In Talks To Develop CBD Infused Beverages

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage maker, is looking to partner with a line of CBD beverages, the company confirmed Monday.

Unlike recent moves by Molson and other beer makers, Coca-Cola says it is not looking to add a buzz to its beverages. Rather, the American beverage giant may target consumers seeking to ease inflammation and related pain by using CBD. It is a legal chemical found in the pot plant unrelated to the psychoactive ingredient THC.

“We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world, the space is quickly evolving,” Coca-Cola said Monday in a statement.

Bloomberg reported they were in talks with Aurora Cannabis to develop the line, but neither Coca-Cola nor Aurora confirmed.

Talk of a wellness beverage is reminiscent of Coca Cola’s 1880s infamously containing a dose of cocaine derived from coca leaves. The company phased out of the ingredient from the drink more than a century ago. The company has long denied its still-secret formula contained a cocaine booster.

Soda manufacturers have been looking for new opportunities in the wake of falling sales as consumers turn away from sugary soft drinks. With the consumption of soft drinks down in recent years, Coca-Cola and its competitors have diversified to include bottled water and juices.

Cannabis infused beverages are the fastest growing trend in legal marijuana

Aurora representative Heather MacGregor stated in writing that Aurora plans to enter the beverage space and is open to partnerships. “Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market,” she wrote.

The CBD beverage boom comes as prices fall for water-soluble CBD isolate. The isolate sells for roughly $20 a gram, depending on the quality and size of an order.

That makes CBD an affordable ingredient for drinks, though it is unlikely any CBD producers could handle a global giant. The product a global beverage giant would simply be too much for small and regional CBD producers.

Coca-Cola sales declined 2% by volume in the U.S. last year, according to Beverage Digest.

Other beverage companies have been actively looking at cannabis partnerships in Canada, where recreational marijuana becomes legal next month.


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