By Chux Odoh
These are interesting times in the international beverage market as multi-national beverage company, Coca-Cola, is reportedly interested in launching its own cannabis wellness drink brand.
According to a report by the local BNN Bloomberg channel, the company is said to be in talks with Canada’s Aurora Cannabis to develop the new beverage, although a person familiar with the talks said it was still in ‘preliminary stages’.
The source also added that Coca-Cola was also speaking to other companies about a potential tie-up, such as a joint venture or investment.
If a ‘joint venture’ eventually materializes, it could add further legitimacy to the cannabis industry as decriminalisation of the drug continues to spread across North American societies.
Aurora’s shares surged on the news, jumping high up to 23 per cent Monday in New York to $8. Other stocks in the cannabis industry got a boost, with Tilray Inc. adding as much as 9.4 percent in response to Coca-Cola’s interest.
The company said it was “closely watching” the cannabis drinks sector, which uses the non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana for wellness drinks.
In Nigeria and other parts of Africa, cannabis is fully criminalized and with punishments involving paying either a fine or prison sentence and in extreme cases both.
However, in Nigeria, African Action Congress 2019 Presidential hopeful and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore has said he would decriminalise and Export Nigerian cannabis if elected as the country’s president in the 2019 presidential election.
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