Coca-Cola looking at cannabis-infused drinks

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Coke said in a statement Monday that it is "closely watching" the growth of CBD, a non-psychoactive component in marijuana, as an ingredient in what it called functional wellness beverages.

"The space is evolving quickly", spokesman Ken Landers told Bloomberg.

"No decisions have been made at this time", the beverage group said, adding that it would not comment on further speculation. Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona beer, Svedka vodka and Casa Noble tequila, announced in August that it's investing an additional $4 billion in the Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth.

Coke isn't the first company to look into cannabis-infused drinks.

Cowen analyst Vivien Azer cited growing consumer interest in CBD and said its properties lend the ingredient well to a sports recovery drink.

It seems like all the cool kids are doing it, but many were surprised to see that the world's largest beverage company is considering dipping its toes into the cannabis market.

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Coca-Cola has reportedly looked at other cannabis outlets as potential partners, with one source telling BNN Bloomberg that the company had high-level talks with the Canadian company Aphria Inc two months ago, but that those talks did not progress.

Coca-Cola is considering developing a range of marijuana-infused beverages to help ease physical problems such as inflammation, pain and cramps.

New Cannabis Ventures' global cannabis stock index has risen about 87 percent over the past year.

Aurora was up more than 15% in early trading Monday following the report.

The CBD products likely would be different from those produced by alcohol makers, which would likely give drinkers a buzz from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

Heather MacGregor, a spokeswoman for Aurora, said in an emailed statement that the cannabis producer has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space, and intends to enter that market, BNN Bloomberg's David George-Cosh reported.

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