Aurora Cannabis CEO Booth says Coca-Cola would be a great partner


Aurora Cannabis issued a statement early Tuesday saying it does not have a deal with Coke or any other beverage company to create cannabis-infused beverages.

"Several sources have told me that Coca-Cola is in serious talks with Aurora Cannabis and the talks revolve around CBD drinks", said journalist David George-Cosh to BNN Bloomberg, who broke the story.

Coca-Cola said on Monday it is studying the use of a key ingredient in marijuana in "wellness beverages", as a growing number of mainstream companies develop cannabis-infused drinks. Coke added that despite their interest in the infused-drink market, "The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time".

Aurora's shares rose 17 percent while U.S-listed shares of fellow Canadian producers Canopy Growth Corp (CGC.N) and Tilray Inc (TLRY.O) were up 2 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Statements from both Coca-Cola and Aurora Cannabis conspicuously left open the possibility that the two companies were indeed in negotiations over a CBD-infused "recovery drink", but neither party has confirmed any plans or even talks, on the record.

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Spirits maker Constellation Brands bought a minority stake in a Canadian marijuana producer previous year. For example, Heineken's craft beer Lagunitas recently launched Hi-Fi Hops, a beer-flavoured sparkling water with THC and CBD.

Coca-Cola has already been diversifying as consumption of soda continues to decline.

According to Bloomberg, the beverage giant is in the market for some wellness guru approved CBD, the marijuana extract that treats pain and anxiety, but doesn't actually get you high.

On a potential Coca-Cola deal, Booth says, "Coca-Cola would be a great partner but we can't comment on speculation as of this time".

While marijuana remains illegal at the national level in the US, there is growing acceptance of the use of CBD derived from marijuana to treat illnesses ranging from chronic pain to anxiety and epilepsy.