Coca-Cola may be eyeing the marijuana industry, specifically drinks infused with CBD — the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
The company is currently in talks with Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian marijuana producer, to develop the drinks, according to BNN Bloomberg TV. Aurora’s CEO Terry Booth said the company has spoken to at least three other beverage companies about making cannabis-infused drinks.
Aurora’s stock jumped up to 23 percent on Monday, leveling off at $8.
Other drink companies are also looking into investing in cannabis drinks. Constellation Brands Inc., the maker of Corona beers, announced that it is investing an additional $3.8 billion into Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp, according to CNBC.
Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 60 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, but black Americans are more likely to feel its consequences. The American Civil Liberties Union said that although black and white Americans use marijuana at nearly the same rates, black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.
As major food and drink companies move toward marijuana products, some are wondering what it will mean for black people in the marijuana industry.
“There needs to be equity and space for us to play,” said Mary Pryor, co-founder of Cannaclusive, a company dedicated to diversifying the cannabis space.
Pryor said that it is the responsibility of politicians and lawmakers to provide that space for minorities who want to dive into the cannabis industry.
Coca-Cola told Bloomberg that no official decisions have been made on producing a marijuana drink and declined to comment on Aurora.