Coca-Cola hinted at the idea on Monday (September 17th) of moving into the market for cannabis-infused drinks.

The statement noted that the soft drink giant was 'closely watching' the market for drinks with CBD, also known as cannabidiol. CBD is a non-psychoactive component in marijuana. It is also used for medical purposes, such as relieving pain, nausea, and inflammation. The chemical does not produce a high in contrast to marijuana's active ingredient, THC.

Coca-Cola said in their statement:

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.

Bloomberg first reported that Coca-Cola was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company, Aurora, which has also expressed interest in cannabis-infused beverages.

Despite the fact that a number of states have legalized marijuana, under federal law, cannabis and CBD are illegal in the U.S. Despite the fact that the prohibition of CBD is not strictly enforced, given the fact that third-party sellers offer it on Amazon, Coca-Cola is not expected to offer a CBD-infused product until federal law changes in the U.S.

Analysts suggest that Coca-Cola is in this game plan for the long-run and are hoping to corner the market offering CBD-infused drinks, should they be given the opportunity to legally do so. It's estimated that cannabis-infused drinks could become a $50 billion industry in the U.S. To give an idea of the margin of profit substantiated by that industry, U.S. beer sales are estimated at approximately $117 billion.

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