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Free Minds & Free Markets

Coca-Cannabis? It Could Be Coming Soon.

Coca-Cola is reportedly interested in CBD-infused beverages aimed at easing aches and pains.

Eckhard Eibner imageBROKER/NewscomEckhard Eibner imageBROKER/NewscomCola-Cola could have a new way of opening happiness.

Bloomberg reports that Coca-Cola could be the first major soft drink maker to tap into the legal marijuana market. While the company says "no decisions" have been made, it reportedly is investigating the possibility of integrating cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a non-psychoactive compound extracted from cannabis, into its drinks.

"We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world," Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers tells Bloomberg.

Drinkable marijuana products are already on the market, but they appear to be nearing a major breakthrough.

"I think you're going to see a lot of innovation in this space, in terms of what kinds of drinks and orals are developed," Lance Anderson, a Texas-based attorney who works on marijuana branding and intellectual property, told me in July. "We are about to witness a true renaissance of the industry, and I look forward to it."

Marijuana-infused drinks essentially come in two varieties: those made with CBD and those made with THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Other products—including some beers, such as New Belgium's Hemporer HPA—are made with hemp to give them the smell and taste of marijuana, but without any measurable amounts of CBD or THC.

Bloomberg reports that Coca-Cola's interest in CBD-infused drinks includes the potential for beverages that ease inflammation, pain, and cramping.

While it is known primarily as a soda company, Coca-Cola owns a wide range of drink brands, including bottled waters, sports drinks, and coffees. It only makes sense to include marijuana-infused drinks, a potentially growing market, in that portfolio. (Don't forget that Coke, before becoming an iconic American soda, began life as a cocaine-infused beverage marketed as a pain reliever.)

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, but drinks containing THC can be sold legally in dispensaries in states where recreational marijuana is legal. The market for CBD-infused drinks, like the ones Coca-Cola is potentially interested in manufacturing, may be significantly larger, since CBD products are legal in dozens of states for medical purposes and could be rescheduled or legalized at the federal level independent of other cannabis products. The Food and Drug Administration in June gave its approval to the the first cannabis-derived medicine, a CBD-oil substitute known as Epidiolex.

Even though there are no plans for specific drinks yet, the very fact that Coke is investigating the possibility of a CBD product shows how far the needle has swung on marijuana legalization. Our politics are lagging behind, but American culture is increasingly accepting of marijuana products in many forms, and those market signals are being received.

Taste the feeling, indeed.

Photo Credit: Eckhard Eibner imageBROKER/Newscom

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  • Eddy||

    The heck with that, let's go back to the *original* ingredients.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Yeah before the federal government unconstitionally claimed it had the authority to make drugs illegal.

  • Juice||

    Believe it or not, they still put coca leaf extract in it. It's tough to kick the coca-cola habit. No shit. Try drinking coke for an extended period of time and then quit. It's not easy. I went through withdrawals when I tried to quit Coke Zero. I thought it was the apsartame, but then I realized it was the coca leaf extract. From the wiki:

    Pemberton called for five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup (roughly 37 g/L), a significant dose; in 1891, Candler claimed his formula (altered extensively from Pemberton's original) contained only a tenth of this amount. Coca-Cola once contained an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass. (For comparison, a typical dose or "line" of cocaine is 50–75 mg.[64]) In 1903, it was removed.[65]

    After 1904, instead of using fresh leaves, Coca-Cola started using "spent" leaves – the leftovers of the cocaine-extraction process with trace levels of cocaine.[66] Since then, Coca-Cola uses a cocaine-free coca leaf extract prepared at a Stepan Company plant in Maywood, New Jersey.[67]
  • SQRLSY One||

    "Coca-Cola started using "spent" leaves – ..."

    Which is better for my health, depleted coke or depleted uranium?

    Inquiring minds want to KNOW, dammit!!!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Why don't they just put the coca back in coca cola?

    DO I HAVE TO THINK OF EVERYTHING PEOPLE?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    No, Eddy and Gilbert were ahead of you.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Except Gilbert wasn't except he chose to respond to Eddy, not you, so there.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Eddy was referring to cane sugar, smart guy. And Gilbert was after me, Mr time stamp ignorer.

    Me: #winning

  • Eddy||

    No, I meant the *real* Coke Classic -

    http://factmyth.com/factoids/c.....ine-in-it/

    - which apparently was marketed as a patent medicine *and* a temperance beverage.

    Temperance ain't what it used to be.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Have a coke and a smile!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You know who else?

  • lap83||

    Don Draper?

  • Juice||

    They should call it Coke Primo.

  • Fancylad||

    some beers, such as New Belgium's Hemporer HPA—are made with hemp to give them the smell and taste of marijuana

    Peak Edgelord, I can just imagine all the fourteen-year-old poseurs who will take selfies with a bottle.

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