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Uncertain possibility of Coca-Cola’s future in CBD has radical industry implications


Source - Wikimedia Commons

In the fall of 2018, stories about Coca-Cola’s interest in hemp products for their sodas began to emerge.


These were reported widely at the time, and captured the imagination of many, though the form and extent of their involvement and interest were unknown. That uncertainty is still very much in play, but clarification from their CEO has helped at least somewhat to know what they have considered so far.


Forbes, Bloomberg and Business Insider all reported on the possible move from the pop giant in September and October of 2018, when the possibility of a team-up with Canada-based Aurora Cannabis sent the buzz around the CBD world. [1] [2] [5]


The reporting on this partnership may have been premature, or may have changed Coca-Cola’s calculations. Regardless, Coca-Cola’s CEO John Quincey told investors in October that the company wasn’t looking to join the CBD market yet, according to reporting from Business Insider. [4]


This clarification, at the time, threw cold water on hopes of those companies hoping to land major CBD contracts with big names in popular food and drink brands. This wouldn’t only help CBD sellers.


According to reporting in the fall from Bloomberg, decreasing customer demand for sugary soda drinks may have been among the reasons Coke allegedly toyed with the idea of a CBD-infused shakeup. [2]


This waning interest in traditional sugary pop also means Coke, Pepsi and other competitors have been vying to find other ways to expand their allure within broader markets, like energy drinks, sports drinks, and now the relative novelty of cannabis drinks.


While the news from CEO Quincey may mean that Coke really wasn’t interested in CBD, it could also mean simply that they weren’t comfortable moving forward in a legal gray area.


Since then, the Farm Bill of 2018 redefined hemp products like CBD, which isn’t psychoactive, as agricultural products that aren’t subject to the federal ban marijuana faces.

Plus, the sheer volume of trade, economic growth and tax revenues a whole new branch of CBD products in the food and beverage space could provide the much-needed capital support and legitimacy for this fledgling industry, where in some states regulators have seized inventories or forced CBD off shelves. [6]


Put simply, if Coke or Pepsi or the other giants in the global beverage market took an interest in CBD, the genie may be let out of the proverbial bottle in terms of peoples’ rights to purchase CBD products.


Innumerable satisfied adults use CBD products for their pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression and epilepsy each day. The burden they currently face to represent themselves and their legal desire to consume this life-changing supplement would be greatly alleviated with major consumer players like Coke, Pepsi, or other food and drink moguls in the game.


Sources

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/bencurren/2018/10/10/coca-cola-explores-cbd-blazing-a-trail-for-other-brand-giants-to-embrace-cannabis/#b7690746e0d8

[2] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-17/coca-cola-eyes-cannabis-market-in-push-beyond-sluggish-sodas

[3] https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/marijuana/video/sluggish-pop-sales-may-be-pushing-coca-cola-to-cannabis~1490687

[4] https://www.businessinsider.com/coca-cola-shoots-down-cbd-rumors-2018-10

[5] https://www.businessinsider.com/coca-cola-cbd-marijuana-industry-2018-9

[6] https://www.nothingbuthemp.net/blog/recent-cbd-crackdowns-show-errors-and-dangers-of-overreach

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