Coca-Cola is researching cannabis drinks

Coca-Cola is exploring the cannabis drinks sector, because the beverage company is looking for new opportunities to compensate for the slower consumption of soft drinks.

The world's largest beverage group on revenue said it was the cannabis drinking sector & # 39; keep a close eye on & # 39 ;, who uses the non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana as an ingredient for wellness drinks. "The space is evolving fast," he said in a statement.

Coke has had discussions with the Canadian Aurora Cannabis to develop drinks, according to a report from the local BNN Bloomberg channel. A spokesperson for the company said, however, that no decision had been made about a deal.

Aurora shares rose at the start of trading and increased by about 14 percent. The growing interest in cannabis for cannabis also generated other types of pot. The Tilray quoted in the US rose 6 percent. Shares in Green Organic Dutchman rose 6 percent in Toronto and Organigram rose 3 percent.

Coca-Cola's interest in cannabis underscores how the company accelerates the efforts of chief executive James Quincey to diversify its traditional products.

It comes about two weeks after the company left for the coffee industry with a deal to buy the British Costa Coffee group for £ 3.9 billion.

While Coca-Cola has pushed other products from bottled water to tea, carbonated drinks are still responsible for almost three-quarters of the turnover.

Coke is the latest in a series of established beverage companies to focus on the fast-growing cannabis sector, because it wants to capitalize on its legalization in North America and Europe.

Bonnie Herzog, analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, said that drinks containing cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive marijuana ingredient aimed at pain treatment, could become big business.

"Coca-Cola is not the first beverage company to show interest in the fast-growing space with cannabis-infused beverages," she said in a note to customers, but it could "extend the range of cannabis-soaked drinks to functional wellness categories, allowing Coca-Cola to own the & # 39; non-recreational, cannabis-soaked beverage category & # 39; & # 39; & # 39 ;.

Corona beer maker Constellation Brands recently invested less than $ 4 billion in Canadian cannabis group Canopy Growth, raising its stake to 38 percent. Diageo, the conglomerate behind Johnny Walker whiskey, has also explored investment opportunities in the cannabis sector in recent weeks, according to people around the company.

The increasing interest in the sector comes a month before Canada legally legalizes cannabis use on October 17. More than 12 countries have legalized it for medical purposes, including Germany and Australia, and several others are evaluating decriminalization.

Pot is legalized in more than half of the 50 US states, despite cannabis being illegal under federal law. Nine states, including California, Colorado and Massachusetts, as well as Washington DC, have approved recreational marijuana use. Analysts with ArcView and BDS Analytics expect global cannabis spending in 2022 to be $ 32 billion from $ 9.5 billion last year.

Greater prospects for legalization have led to a wave of deals in the sector, including several Canopy acquisitions, as well as Aurora Cannabis's acquisition of $ 2 billion in May from MedReleaf, which was the largest deal in the industry at the time.

Companies that focus on cannabis have seen their share value rise in record highs in recent months, as the liberalization of consumption has further increased their financial prospects.

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