Coca-Cola is 'closely watching' the cannabis space — and is reportedly eyeing a deal with one of Canada's biggest producers (KO)

  • Coca-Cola has been in talks with Aurora Cannabis to produce CBD-infused drinks, Bloomberg reported Monday.
  • Shares of Aurora popped more than 15% on the report, but the company did not confirm the discussions.
  • An increasing number of beverage companies are rapidly investing in the marijuana space as the drug gains legalization in more jurisdictions. 

Coca-Cola is said to be in discussions with Aurora Cannabis to develop beverages infused with CBD, one of the non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis, Bloomberg News reported Monday.

While neither company confirmed the talks, Coca-Cola said it was "closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world."

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Coca-Cola through the years
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1950s: Teenaged girl with bottle of Coca-Cola. (Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) *23.03.1912-16.06.1977+Physiker, Raketenforscher, D/USA- Porträt mit Coca-Cola-Flasche- 1963 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
FRANCE - MAY 01: Centenary of Coca-Cola In France In May, 1986. (Photo by Didier CONTANT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
BOHOL, PHILIPPINES - 1988/01/01: A lemur clings to a coke bottle. . (Photo by Roland Neveu/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Bottles of Coca-Cola, Tab, and Sprite on the shelf of a grocery store in New York City, USA, September 1988. (Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 16: Bottles of Coca-Cola are seen on the shelf at Tower Market January 16, 2004 in San Francisco, California. Coca-Cola is being investigated by U.S. regulators over allegations raised by a former employee that it had inflated its earnings. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 16: Cans of Coca-Cola are seen on the shelf at Tower Market January 16, 2004 in San Francisco, California. Coca-Cola is being investigated by U.S. regulators over allegations raised by a former employee that it had inflated its earnings. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 20: Bottles of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke are displayed on a shelf in an Associated Supermarket in New York Thursday, October 20, 2005. Coca-Cola Co. said third-quarter profit surged 37 percent, the biggest gain in more than a year, as sales rebounded in the U.S. and demand for Powerade sports (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
PARK RIDGE, IL - NOVEMBER 07: 2-Liter bottles of Vanilla Coke as seen in a grocery store November 7, 2005 in Park Ridge, Illinois. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. has said it plans to discontinue its Vanilla Coke in the US by the end of the year. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 19: A general view of the new aluminum Coca-Cola bottle at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Fall 2009 Collections at Bryant Park on February 19, 2009 in New York City (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for The Coca Cola Company)
Bottles of Coca-Cola Co.'s Coke brand soda sit on a shelf behind the bar at Smith & Wollensky in New York, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. Coca-Cola Co., the world's biggest soda maker, agreed to buy the North American operations of bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., more than six months after PepsiCo Inc. moved to bring its bottlers in-house to cut costs. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Rita Ora attends photocall to celebrates 100 years of the Coca-Cola Contour Bottle at the Coca-Cola Contour Centenary Bar on March 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
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"The space is evolving quickly," spokesman Ken Landers told Bloomberg. "No decisions have been made at this time."

Aurora was up more than 15% in early trading Monday following the report. Through a spokesperson, the company said it intends to enter the beverage space, but could not confirm Coca-Cola talks. 

"Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market," it said. "There is so much happening in this area right now and we think it has incredible potential. As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented."

Coca-Cola's potential foray into marijuana beverages follows a two investments by Constellation Brands, the conglomerate behind drinks like Corona and Svedka, totaling more than $4 billion, into Canopy Growth, the largest publicly traded marijuana firm. 

Molson Coors has also entered the marijuana space through a joint venture with Canada's Hydrotherapy Corporation to make non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.

Monday's report also catalyzed a rally in other marijuana stocks. Tilray was up about 7% while Canopy Growth and Cronos Group were both up about 2%. Coca-Cola was higher by about 0.4%.

Despite Monday's pop, shares of Aurora are down 25% this year. 

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