In the early days of Coca-Cola, there were trace amounts of the drug cocaine in the drink. Once the drug was found to be unsafe, the company removed it.
Today though, the Coca-Cola Co. is exploring adding a new drug to its drinks, cannabis. James Fontanella-Khan and Alistair Gray report in the Financial Times:
Coca-Cola is exploring entering the budding cannabis drinks business, as the iconic beverage company seeks new opportunities to offset slowing soda consumption.
The world’s largest beverage group by revenue is “closely watching” the cannabis drinks sector, which uses the non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana as an ingredient for wellness drinks, the group said in a statement.
“The space is evolving quickly,” it said.
Coke is the latest in a series of mainstream consumer beverage companies to start focusing on the fast growing cannabis sector as it seeks to capitalise on the legalisation of weed in North America and Europe.
Its plans were first reported by BNN Bloomberg.
Corona beer maker Constellation Brands recently invested under $4bn into Canadian cannabis group Canopy Growth, lifting its stake to 38 per cent. Diageo, the liquor conglomerate behind Johnny Walker whiskey, has also been exploring investment opportunities in the cannabis sector in recent weeks, according to people close to the company.
The increasing interest in the sector comes a month before Canada legalises recreational cannabis use on October 17. More than a dozen countries have legalised weed for medical purposes, including Germany and Australia, and several others are evaluating decriminalisation.
Pot has been legalised in more than half of America’s 50 states, despite cannabis being illegal under federal law. Nine states, including California, Colorado and Massachusetts, as well as Washington DC, have approved recreational marijuana. Analysts with ArcView and BDS Analytics expect global cannabis spending to reach $32bn in 2022, up from $9.5bn last year.
Read more here.
Jeremy Jones, CFA
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