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Coca-Cola Could Make A Move Into CBD-Infused Drinks

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Coca-Cola, Aurora in talks about making cannabis-infused drinks: report

Coca-Cola has been engaged in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis to develop the beverages, Bloomberg said.

As beverage makers including Molson Coors step into the marijuana market, Coca-Cola is thinking about joining the pot party.

Both Coke and rival Pepsico have been trying to expand their businesses beyond traditional soft drinks as people drink less soda because of health concerns.

A statement released to Bloomberg by Coca-Cola spokesman, Kent Landers, stating "We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world... the space is evolving quickly".

As cannabis legalization becomes more and more widespread, and nations like Canada federally drop barriers to entry, large companies like Coca-Cola are inevitably going to jump into the fast growing market.

Aurora's stock soared 17 percent, while Coke's edged up slightly.

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Spirits maker Constellation Brands bought a minority stake in a Canadian marijuana producer previous year.

And Lagunitas, a craft beer label of brewing giant Heineken, already has a drink infused with THC, marijuana's active ingredient, which does produce a high. The company, with its iconic brands ranging from Coke and Sprite to Powerade, announced it will acquire the Costa Coffee chain for US$5.1 billion in August, and has expanded into other products including juice, tea and mineral water over the past decade.

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

Commenting on today's Bloomberg report, analyst Vivian Azer said she is "not surprised" that Coca-Cola is reportedly interested in a deal with Aurora. It has been used to treat epilepsy and other maladies. The Edmonton, Alberta-based company has soared along with other pot stocks in Canada as the country gears up to become the first Group of Seven nation to legalize cannabis on October 17.

Big corporate names have inched into the marijuana industry since Canada approved recreational use, seeing the country as a production base and testing ground until U.S. Federal Law changes.

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