Coke confirms that it’s not ready to enter the cannabis industry

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The beverage giant won’t be introducing marijuana-infused drinks anytime soon

Last month, rumors starting floating that Coca-Cola was considering stepping into the marijuana fray with a line of marijuana-infused products. The rumors were fueled by a discussion the soft drink giant had with Aurora Cannabis out of Canada. Word spread quickly, causing the company to issue a short statement that it wasn’t ready to move forward with any marijuana-based products. Now, Coca-Cola has reiterated that position in a conference call with investors.

The company held an earnings call yesterday, where the subject of a new marijuana-infused product line once again came up. It told call participants that there are no plans “at this stage” to enter the cannabis business. However, the wording certainly left the door open for involvement at a later time.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the beverage giant begin to offer infused products. Some, such as Corona beer’s Constellation Brands, is said to already be moving that way and Molson Coors Brewing Co. isn’t too far behind. Marijuana-infused beverages are reported to be one of the next massive global industries and could be a ten-figure market within five years.

It also wouldn’t be surprising if the announcement by Coca-Cola was nothing more than an attempt at misdirection. The company is too smart and too large to not consider getting into marijuana, despite U.S. federal restrictions. It could be preparing its product line in secret, ready to make a launch as soon as the government opens the country to legalized marijuana.