Coca Cola is thinking of making drinks with cannabis as South Africa permits home-grown marijuana

Coca-Cola, in a statement Monday, said it is keeping a close watch on the Cannabidiol (CBD) market, to be used as an ingredient in its wellness beverages.

The beverage company’s spokesman, Kent Landers confirmed that Coca-cola is interested in exploring the possibilities of using a cannabis compound in some of its drinks, though no decision had been made to enter that specific market. “The space is evolving quickly but no decisions have been made at this time,” he said.

Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component in marijuana which does not make its user high can be used in different ways, including inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapour, as an aerosol spray into the cheek. It can also be used as full-plant CBD-dominant hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis or as a prescription liquid to ease inflammation, pain and nausea.

Coca-Cola’s consideration is in line with Canada’s plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana next month after the Senate passed a historic bill with a vote of 52-29. Canada is only the second country in the world and the first G7 nation to implement legislation to permit a nationwide marijuana market.

According to Bloomberg, Coca-cola is in talks with Canadian cultivator Aurora Cannabis to produce cannabis beverages. Marijuana stocks grew on Monday following Coca-Cola’s statement that it is in talks with Aurora Cannabis.

Researching the potentials of a beverage company exploring marijuana industry, Cowen analyst Vivien Azer said Canadian companies like Aphria and Tilray would be other obvious potential partners for Coca-Cola should they proceed with the CBD infused drink.

While the global carbonated drink company is looking at expanding its beverages, South Africa’s constitutional Court confirmed a 2017  judgement by a Western Cape high court that found a ban on the use of dagga at home was against the constitutional right to privacy.

Despite the ruling by the constitutional court, dealing and public smoking of marijuana is still illegal.

The decision to overrule the previous court ruling was based on medical studies that showed alcohol caused more harm than marijuana and that there was little data to show that criminalising it reduced harmful use.