Aurora Cannabis shares rise on reported talks with Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola said it is

Coca-Cola said it is"closely watching the emergence of CBD-infused drinks Credit Anadolu

The world's largest drinks company is in talks with major Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis, but stressed that it was interested in the properties of cannabis that treat pain but do not get users high.

Coca-Cola Co.is considering a line of beverages infused with the cannabis ingredient CBD, according to a report from BNN Bloomberg Television.

"The space is evolving quickly", Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers told Bloomberg News.

"No decisions have been made at this time", the beverage group said, adding that it would not comment on further speculation.

The Bloomberg report follows other deals between USA beverage companies and pot producers in Canada, where recreational use of marijuana becomes legal next month across the country, followed by consumable forms of the drug next year.

Coca-Cola did not respond to questions about Aurora or any other Canadian cannabis companies.

Hard on the heels of a $5.1-billion deal to buy Costa Coffee last month, analysts said a move into marijuana-infused drinks fit with Coke's moves toward a healthier product portfolio.

While recent events have seen adult-beverage makers jump into the infused-beverages space, some believe the non-alcoholic infused-beverage markets may hold the key.

The CBD products likely would be different from those produced by alcohol makers, which would likely give drinkers a buzz from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Similarly unclear is whether Coca-Cola would make a public announcement should the deal come to fruition (or if it would quietly white label a product under the Aurora brand).

Cannabidiol, a constituent of cannabis, can help ease inflammation, pain and cramping, but has no psychoactive effect.

In June, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the epilepsy treatment Epidiolex, the first cannabis-based drug allowed in the United States.

BNN Bloomberg reported that shares in Aurora surged as much as 19% when markets opened Monday, paring gains to about 16% to $9.92 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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