Even though he’s staying mum on the topic for now, Aurora Cannabis’ (Quote, Chart TSX:ACB) Terry Booth says that a deal with Coca-Cola would be great not just for his pot company but for the marijuana space in general as it would help legitimize cannabis as a global enterprise.
News broke yesterday that Aurora, one of the leading names in Canada’s fledgling cannabis sector, has been in talks with Coca-Cola on the development of cannabis-infused beverages, a revelation that caused Aurora’s stock to jump over 16 per cent in Monday’s trading.
Reportedly, Coca-Cola is interested in developing drinks infused with CBD, the cannabis compound said to have pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, rather than drinks infused with THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.
“Several sources have told me that Coca-Cola is in serious talks with Aurora Cannabis and the talks revolve around CBD drinks,” said journalist David George-Cosh to BNN Bloomberg, who broke the story. “It’s more of the recovery drink angle that Coca-Cola is interested in pursuing.”
The news follows a month-long span in which pot stocks have been heating up, in part due to news mid-August of a new deal struck between Canopy Growth and beer and alcohol company Constellation Brands, a $5 billion investment from the beverage giant. That was after an announcement earlier in August from cannabis company HEXO that it was teaming up with Molson Coors Canada to develop cannabis-infused drinks.
All the interest from big name alcohol and beverage companies can only benefit the cannabis space, says Booth, Aurora’s CEO.
“It was only a matter of time before the major beverage companies came in, not only from the alcohol but the Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola side of the fence,” Booth told BNN Bloomberg Monday. “It’s a big impact. It legitimizes what we’re up to. It legitimizes this as a big global business.”
Aurora has been one of the most active companies in the pot space over the past year, having acquired two major producers in CanniMed and MedReleaf along with South American cannabis company ICC Labs.
On a potential Coca-Cola deal, Booth says, “Coca-Cola would be a great partner but we can’t comment on speculation as of this time. There are a number of beverage companies in the space and we’ve spoken to at least three different companies over the last three months.”