Coca-Cola and Aurora in ‘Serious Talks’ to Develop Marijuana-Infused Drinks

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Multiple sources have reported on Coca-Cola’s interest in developing cannabis-infused drinks

One of the world’s most iconic consumer brands is reportedly in “serious talks” to launch a cannabis product. According to BNN Bloomberg, Coca-Cola and Aurora Cannabis Inc. are in negotiations to develop marijuana-infused beverages.

Sources around the deal told BNN Bloomberg that Coca-Cola (Ko.N) is interested in cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, for development of a line of non-psychoactive medicinal drinks. The world’s largest beverage company would market the drinks to ease inflammation, pain, and cramping but not to give consumers a buzz.

Aurora and Coca-Cola are reportedly well into discussions but there is no guarantee the plans will be made public or result in a commercial agreement. The products would launch in the recovery drink category. This includes functional wellness beverages, a rapidly-evolving market segment.

Marijuana industry analysts estimate the CBD market will surpass $2.1 billion by 2020. The Hemp Business Journal reported the CBD industry reached $202 million in 2015.

Other news sources reported on Coca-Cola’s interest in the marijuana industry a month ago. Company executives reportedly attended meetings with Leamington, Ontario-based marijuana company Alphira, Inc. Martin Landry of GMP Securities LP speculated that Coca-Cola is searching for the right partnership.

Landry said the beverage giant will likely avoid any deal that involves an investment on their part but is searching for a strategic joint venture. Investing equity in any cannabis business is still considered risky because company valuations are not yet stable. Landry said Coca-Cola and other major brands will likely launch in Canada before entering the United States.