The Coca-Cola Company has revealed that it is “closely watching” the development of cannabis drinks as it facts whether to enter the market with a non-psychoactive product.
The beverage giant’s announcement came following reports it was in talks with Canadian marijuana company Aurora Cannabis to create drinks infused with CBD. Coca-Cola said that it was considering a move into the market in order to use CBD as a component in “wellness” products, but had made no formal decision on whether to invest or not. The Shares of Aurora Cannabis were up nearly 17 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange as per the report. Coca-Cola said “We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis,” in a statement issued on Monday.
“Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive Cannabis (CBD) as an ingredient in functional “wellness beverages” around the world. “Space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.” Said the Coca-Cola. Unlike other chemical element found in cannabis, such as THC, CBD does not cause intoxicating effects on users or buyers. It can, however, be used for many medical purposes, including to soothe the pain associated with multiple sclerosis and in the treatment of many types of childhood epilepsy.
Coca-Cola’s interest in the cannabis industry is another indication of the growing acceptance of the plant by established industries. For a company to do an experiment with cannabis is not new. Hemp, which is another non-psychoactive form of cannabis (CBD), has for hundreds of years influenced medicinal and health-related benefits, from the seeds that people eat to clothes that people wear to beauty products that people apply. Yet while this is not new, Coca-Cola’s stamp of credibility will make cannabis products to a new, more serious level.
Other giant brands haven’t been quite as willing to take risks, at least not yet. For example, Facebook (#8 on the top ten brands by value list) is still very restrictive when it comes to cannabis or marijuana, completely banning the ads that “promote the sale or use of illegal, prescriptions, or recreational drugs.” Despite some form of legalization in a majority of the states, this very clearly includes cannabis or marijuana, as evidenced by the examples they cite of “smoking-related (like bongs and rolling papers) and “images of either medical or recreational marijuana”.