- Coca-Cola has been in talks with Aurora Cannabis to produce CBD-infused drinks, Bloomberg reported Monday.
- Shares of Aurora popped more than 15% on the report, but the company did not confirm the discussions.
- An increasing number of beverage companies are rapidly investing in the marijuana space as the drug gains legalization in more jurisdictions.
While neither company confirmed the talks, Coca-Cola said it was “closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.”
“The space is evolving quickly,” spokesman Ken Landers told Bloomberg. “No decisions have been made at this time.”
Aurora was up more than 15% in early trading Monday following the report. Through a spokesperson, the company said it intends to enter the beverage space, but could not confirm Coca-Cola talks.
“Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market,” it said. “There is so much happening in this area right now and we think it has incredible potential. As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalised, however we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented.”
Coca-Cola’s potential foray into marijuana beverages follows a two investments by Constellation Brands, the conglomerate behind drinks like Corona and Svedka, totaling more than $US4 billion, into Canopy Growth, the largest publicly traded marijuana firm.
Molson Coors has also entered the marijuana space through a joint venture with Canada’s Hydrotherapy Corporation to make non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.
Monday’s report also catalyzed a rally in other marijuana stocks. Tilray was up about 7% while Canopy Growth and Cronos Group were both up about 2%. Coca-Cola was higher by about 0.4%.
Despite Monday’s pop, shares of Aurora are down 25% this year.