The grandaddy of beverage companies may be getting into the CBD business. Coca Cola is exploring the potential to develop CBD-infused drinks to help people fight inflammation, pain and other conditions.
The world’s largest beverage company is reportedly working with Aurora Cannabis, a major Canadian producer, on the potential project. The news comes as Canada draws closer to full legalization of marijuana. Coke isn’t the first major company to show an interest in Canadian cannabis, as The Guardian reports:
Canada is an obvious major market for a new wave of commercially produced drinks, given that recreational cannabis use is set to be legalised on 17 October. At the beginning of August, it was announced that Canadian brewer Molson Coors had struck a deal with The Hydropothecary Corporation, a Canadian cannabis producer, to launch a new standalone business which aims to develop “non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalisation”.
Diageo, the maker of Guinness beer, is holding discussions with at least three Canadian cannabis producers about a possible deal, according to BNN Bloomberg. Heineken NV’s Lagunitas craft-brewing label has even launched a brand specialising in non-alcoholic drinks infused with THC, marijuana’s active ingredient. However Coca-Cola is the first major non-alcoholic drinks manufacturer to consider such a move.
Nor is the company the only cultural icon to express interest in CBD. Willie Nelson has added CBD-infused coffee, Willie’s Reserve, to his lineup of cannabis offerings. David Crosby, who is exploring a cannabis line of his own, says he expects CBD to be a major product.
The Brightfield Group, a market research firm, has released a new estimate that the CBD market could hit $22 billion by 2022, Rolling Stone reports. That would be a remarkably large surge for a market that has only sprung into wide consciousness in the last couple years.