Coca-Cola was, earlier in the week deemed to have shown interest in the CBD (cannabidiol) category, per a statement on Monday that said it was in talks with Canada’s Aurora Cannabis Inc. to develop drinks infused with cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.
However, now the soft drink giant states it has no interest in developing CBD-infused beverages.
“We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis. Along with many others in the beverage industry, 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. No decisions have been made at this time.”
The company declined to comment on further speculation.
If Coke is interested, it would join a rush by major alcohol makers and a cigarette company to test the cannabis market and find partners ahead of the Oct. 17 launch of legal recreational marijuana in Canada.
Coke and Aurora, in separate statements, each said they were interested in cannabidiol-infused beverages but would not comment on any specifics or talks. Aurora’s stock soared 17 percent, while Coke’s edged up slightly.
The CBD products likely would be different from those produced by alcohol makers, which would give drinkers a buzz from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
Beer makers Constellation Brands, Molson Coors, and Heineken are all playing in the market for cannabis products. For example, Heineken’s craft beer Lagunitas recently launched Hi-Fi Hops, a beer-flavored sparkling water with THC and CBD.