Business

Coca-Cola Considering Cannabis-Infused Drinks

Did you know that Coca-Cola was so named because once upon a time “Coke” actually contained coke, aka cocaine? True story. Back at the turn of the 20th century, cocaine was frequently used as a caffeine-like stimulant. Cocaine was dropped from the formula in 1903 as people became more aware of the potential to abuse cocaine.

Now, Coca-Cola is considering a move back into the drug-infused drink market. The soft drink company announced that it is considering formulating cannabis-infused drinks, likely for sale in Canada. With marijuana being legalized in many states, the cannabis industry has emerged as a fast-growing and profitable sector. Edibles, in particular, are enjoying strong growth and cannabis-infused beverages are becoming quite popular.

However, Coca-Cola isn’t looking to produce drinks that produce a high. Instead, the company is examining Cannabidiol (CBD), which does not provide pyschoactive effects. However, CBD is believed to help with nausea, inflammation, and pain. CBD-based pharmaceuticals are also used to treat seizures.

Apparently, Coca-Cola has been discussing a tie-up with Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian company. While marijuana is a gray area in the United States, even in states where it’s legal, the local laws remain in conflict with federal regulations which ban the use of marijuana outright. Small businesses have been setting up to tap into emerging marijuana markets, but most companies have remained wary, owing to the federal prohibition.

Canada, however, is set to completely legalize marijuana for recreational use. On October 17th, marijuana will become legal in Canada nation-wide. This will pave the way for companies to invest in the marijuana industry without fear of regulatory punishment.

If Coca-Cola moves forward, they won’t be the first major company to make an investment in cannabis-infused drinks. Constellation Brands, which owns Corona and other high-powered brands, has already sunk $4 billion into a tie-up with Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth. Meanwhile, numerous Canadian cannabis companies are already being traded on American stock exchanges, attracting investments.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is a political consultant and has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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