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As Coca-Cola considers cannabis-infused wellness drinks, we look at the expansion of CBD and THC-infused beverages




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The Coca-Cola Company said Monday it is "closely watching" the expanding use of a cannabis element in drinks, another sign cannabis and cannabis-infused products are getting more acceptance in mainstream culture and a harder look from long-established pillars of American business.

The statement came after reports the beverage giant was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company to create a health drink infused with cannabidiol, a naturally occurring non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant. 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 produce the high commonly associated with marijuana. It is believed by many to have anti-inflammation and pain-relieving properties, and numerous CBD-infused products have emerged recently. Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said her company "has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space and we intend to enter that market." A Coke spokesman said the beverage giant has made no such decision.

CBD-infused drinks are not the only novelty making its way in beverage industry. There is the THC-infused beer and new beverage concepts such as an alcoholic offering that’s only available in Japan. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the most common cannabinoid in marijuana. We look at the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in wellness beverages and how this industry is growing with an array of infused drinks.

With files from the Associated Press

Guests:

Jen Skerritt, reporter at Bloomberg News, who wrote about Coca-Cola’s plans to tap into the cannabis industry; she tweets @jenskerritt

Gillian Flaccus, reporter for the Associated Press covering the marijuana beat, who wrote about Coca-Cola’s plans to tap into the cannabis industry; she tweets @gflaccus

Amy Ludlum, co-founder of Seven Cities Beverage Company aka California Dreamin’, a San Francisco-based cannabis-infused soda startup