Hedge fund legends. Big Pharma. Big Tobacco. Big Alcohol. The list of new and possible cannabis industry participants keeps growing and growing. And now, potentially the biggest interest yet: Big Soda. If there were any doubts that cannabis has gone mainstream and is going more mainstream by the day, the possible entry of Coca-Cola into the marijuana market should erase any and all confusion as BN Bloomberg reports:
The Coca-Cola Co. is in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis Inc. to develop cannabis-infused beverages, a groundbreaking move that would signal a significant foray into the marijuana sector by one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands, multiple sources familiar with the matter told BNN Bloomberg.
The sources said that Coca-Cola (KO.N 0.02%), the world’s largest beverage company, is interested in developing beverages that are infused with cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana plants.
Unlike other deals between alcohol makers and cannabis producers aimed at making drinks that will give consumers a “buzz” similar to inhaling marijuana, Coca-Cola and Aurora (ACB.TO 14.05%) would likely develop beverages that will ease inflammation, pain and cramping.
Estimates vary, but the consumer CBD market is estimated to grow to US$2.1 billion by 2020, from $202 million in 2015, according to a recent report in the Hemp Business Journal.
It will be interesting to see if Coca-Cola’s entry into the cannabis industry (if it happens) will lead to other beverage makers following suit as Pepsi, Lipton, and other companies could want their piece of the CBD financial pie. The International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland will have a panel devoted to the lucrative CBD market this September 28th. Get your tickets today to learn the latest and network with top investors and entrepreneurs from around the globe. Hurry because the conference hotel block discount deal end tonight!