The Coca-Cola Company has revealed that it is monitoring the growth of the use of a non-psychoactive element of Cannabis in wellness drinks.
A report from BNN Bloomberg Television on Monday revealed that Coca-Cola is in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis-the third-largest marijuana company in Canada- about developing Cannabidiol infused drinks.
Cannabidiol or CBD is the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that is suggested to treat pain, inflammation and anxiety but it does not get people high.
The two companies, in separate statements according to Bloomberg Television, confirmed their initial interests in the CBD infused beverages. They however did not comment on any specifics into the alleged talks.
If the move is confirmed Coca Cola will join a list of other established alcohol and beverage makers such as Constellation Brands and Heineken who have transitioned into the cannabis product market ahead of the October 17 launch of legal recreational marijuana in Canada.
Following Canada’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana shares in cannabis producers have increased with marijuana stock rising about 87 per cent in the country.
Other Canadian based cannabis companies such as Tilray and Aphria are also expected to be targeted for partnerships by high end beverage companies looking to venture into the market.
The beverage giant’s interest is another indication of the growing acceptance of cannabis around the world but the trend is yet to blossom in Africa with only a few countries such as Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Malawi.
South Africa joined that list today after their Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo delivered a ruling legalizing the use of the private, personal cannabis.
In Kenya however, the debate on legalizing marijuana has hit a standstill with majority of society still associating the drug with rowdiness, uncouth behavior and madness.
Several people have in the past called for the legalization of marijuana in Kenya with the most recent being Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s son, Raila Odinga Junior. In a tweet, Raila Junior said he advocates for the legalization of medical marijuana.
Last year, political analyst Gwada Ogot addressed the Senate on the legalization of cannabis and started up an online petition to garner at least 7,500 signatures to have his petition tabled in parliament.
Marijuana plant and its products are prohibited by Kenyan law under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropics Substances (Control) Act, 1994.