Coca-Cola is in ‘serious talks’ to develop cannabis-infused drinks as more countries move to legalise the drug.
The Atlanta based drinks giant, which own over 500 brands including Sprite, Fanta and Costa Coffee, is in advanced discussions with Canadian company Aurora Cannabis.
Bloomberg reported Coca-Cola wants to enter the cannabis sector because soft drinks are becoming increasingly unpopular as they are seen as unhealthy.
A source close to the negotiations between the companies said: ‘They’re pretty advanced down the path of doing a deal.
‘It’s going to be more of the “recovery drink” category.’ The drinks will be more about helping consumers with inflammation, pain and cramping and not about getting drinkers high, sources told Bloomberg.
A Coca-Cola spokesman added: ‘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.’
Aurora Cannabis is Canada’s third biggest cannabis producer and the company confirmed it was in talks with Coca-Cola concerning cannabis infused drinks.
Canada legalised cannabis for recreational use in June this year.
Coca-Cola is the world’s fourth most valuable brand behind Apple, Google and Microsoft and is 132 years old.
What are the rules surrounding cannabis around the world?
Cannabis is banned in most countries but a number of places have decriminalised its use in recent years. In July, the UK government announced that specialist doctors in the UK will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products.
It is legal for medicinal purposes in 14 European countries as well as Israel, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico, Turkey, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In the US, medicinal use is allowed in 29 states and the District of Columbia and nine of the states have legalised both medical and personal cannabis use.
Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Jamaica, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Luxembourg are among countries that have relaxed legislation regarding personal use.