Cannabis has been gaining ground lately regarding more accurate information coming out about its healing properties. Currently, there is a bill that could pass that would allow for federal testing of the plant for more accurate information on its benefits. In general, the public has expressed its neutralism on the decision on the use of cannabis provided the criminal element is removed. Overall, the issue of cannabis has become very mainstream and seems poised to become todays public prohibition victory as was alcohol with the first prohibition reversal in the United States back in the nineteen-thirties.
Just recently the Coca-Cola Company said that it is “closely watching” the opportunity to incorporate cannabis into a line of drinks. The drink manufacture is looking more seriously at the possibilities due to the culture of the mainstream right now being more in acceptance of cannabis-infused products in general. This would obviously be an indication that even long standing American companies are smart enough to understand the profits that could be gained from an industry that is looking to easily become a billion-dollar field.
Coca-Cola has reportedly been in talks with Canadian cannabis company, Aurora Cannabis Inc., to create a health drink that would be infused with the non-psychoactive ingredient CBD, which is also derived from the cannabis plant. Naturally, talks with such a large stapler of American business as Coca-Cola is known for internationally, stock in Aurora Cannabis rose nearly 17 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the release of the report. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment on the report but acknowledged their interest in that segment of the cannabis market.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, does not contain the high generally associated with cannabis use. CBD has many anti-inflammation and pain-relieving properties, and numerous CBD-infused products have emerged recently. Aurora Cannabis spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said that the company “has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space and we intend to enter that market. “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,” Coke spokesman Kent Landers said.
Marijuana becomes legal across Canada on Oct. 17th, 2018 and many cannabis companies from the United States have flooded to Canada to establish businesses there even though cannabis has been legalized in various levels in 29 states, it’s still illegal on the federal level in the U.S. overall. American companies interested in making a play in the cannabis realm can test the waters in Canada without engaging in something illegal back in the U.S.
In the past Coca-Cola has missed out on opportunities in new emerging drink trend markets. They missed the energy drink phenomenon that continues to produce lucrative windfalls and they missed the vitamin water and coffee craze, so they had to buy into those markets to gain any profits. Ali Dibadj, a senior analyst at Alliance Bernstein with an expertise in U.S. beverage and snack food companies said, “The company has been caught flat-footed in the past in not keeping up with trends in beverages.” However, even with more cannabis education many Americans aren’t intimately familiar with the cannabis plant and might not understand that CBD has no psychoactive properties. “I think you have to be very, very careful with this as a large brand. There are different viewpoints on a product category, and you don’t want to offend too much,” Dibadj said. “You don’t want to be too far ahead on any curve.”
By T. Jerome Chisley (@PoeticPanther)
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