The Coca-Cola Company, facing declining soda sales, is reportedly exploring the cannabis beverage market.
Cannabis — otherwise known as marijuana, weed, pot, dope, cush, green, ganja, Mary Jane, and, allegedly, “burrito” — is emerging as a trendy venture for beverage companies, particularly brewers. Nixing booze for bud, Coors, Corona, and Lagunitas are hard at work bringing marijuana-related drinks (not necessarily beer) to the masses.
Coca-Cola is the latest beverage giant to express publicly its interest in developing a drink using ingredients derived from cannabis.
Marijuana chemists/drink smiths seem to be focusing their efforts on two general categories of pot beverage: Those that use tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and those that use cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the psychoactive ingredient in weed that creates a euphoric effect in your brain. In other words, it’s the thing that gets you high.
CBD, on the other hand, interacts with the human body’s system for regulating sleep, immune-system responses, and pain. In June, the Food and Drug Administration approved a medication that uses CBD to treat certain types of epilepsy.
Coca-Cola said it is “closely watching” the market for CBD drinks, stressing in a statement that it has “no interest in marijuana or cannabis,” as such. Still, Bloomberg reported that Coke is considering a partnership with Canada’s third-largest pot company, Aurora Cannabis Inc.
(Canada will officially legalize recreational marijuana use on Oct. 17. Most of the toasty-beverage ventures we’ve mentioned will go through our northern neighbors).
If you are shaking your head about Coke’s latest potential venture, blame Millennials. Pot-curious companies like Coors and Coke are facing declining sales, particularly among Millennials. To compensate, they are trying to monetize changing attitudes toward marijuana and its recreational use.
Coke’s nod toward Mary Jane appears to be a strategy for coping with present and projected market trends. Then again, maybe Coca-Cola is just returning to its roots.
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