Coca-Cola, Aurora in talks about making cannabis-infused drinks

An employee sorts freshly harvested cannabis buds at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel

A Coke spokesman said the beverage giant has made no such decision.

The firm declined to comment but said it was watching the cannabis drinks market closely.

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognized brands in the world, but it could soon be known for more than just fizzy drinks.

The Bloomberg report follows other deals between USA beverage companies and pot producers in Canada, where recreational use of marijuana becomes legal next month across the country, followed by consumable forms of the drug next year.

Canada is set to legalize cannabis on October 17 after both houses of parliament voted to make the drug available for recreational use. CBD-infused beverages harness the power of the plant's cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana purported to have various health benefits.

Coke released a statement Monday that said it's "closely watching" the growth of CBD, a non-psychoactive component in marijuana, as an ingredient in what it called functional wellness beverages.

It only makes sense to include marijuana-infused drinks, a potentially growing market, in that portfolio.

Azer said he would not be surprised by a similar move from Pepsi with "with CBD seemingly a good compliment to their market share leading Gatorade franchise".

American companies interested in making a play in the cannabis space can try things out in Canada without risking doing something illegal at home.

"We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis". It should be noted that Coca-Cola shares have risen since the news was announced.

'It's going to be more of the "recovery drink" category'. The drug is still illegal under USA federal law, although some states have decriminalized it.

It did not confirm or deny the link with Aurora Cannabis, which was first reported by Canadian broadcaster BNN Bloomberg. She estimates that cannabis-infused drinks could become a $50 billion annual market in the United States - almost half the size of the $117 billion market for USA beer sales.

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