(NEW YORK POST) – Coca-Cola is thinking about a new formula — and the special ingredient is “weed.”
The Atlanta-based soft-drink giant — whose earliest beverages included trace amounts of cocaine — is now in talks with Canada-based pot farmer Aurora Cannabis to create beverages infused with marijuana, according to a Bloomberg report Monday.
Coca-Cola tried to kill the buzz around the reported joint venture, saying in a Monday statement it had “no interest” in the psychedelic effects of marijuana, which are produced by the active chemical THC.
Instead, Coke said it’s “closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages.”
While the THC in weed gets you high, the CBD that’s also present in marijuana has been promoted as a natural method for reducing pain and inflammation, as well as treating anxiety, depression and sleeplessness.
Coke is looking at “health-focused beverages that will ease inflammation, pain and cramping.” according to Bloomberg.
“The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time,” the soda maker said.
Shares of Aurora, which declined to discuss details the reported talks, soared nearly 15 percent to $7.49.
“Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market,” Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said Monday. “There is so much happening in this area right now and we think it has incredible potential.”
The news goosed Wall Street’s recent giddiness over the pot sector.
Shares of medical-cannabis company Tilray — which are up sevenfold since their $17 debut in July — jumped 7.7 percent to $117.44. Canopy Growth, which recently secured a $3.8 billion investment from Corona-maker Constellation Brands, saw its shares rise 2.5 percent to $63.07 in midday trades.
Coca-Cola shares, meanwhile, were recently up 0.3 percent at $46.15.
The original Coca-Cola, developed by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886, was said to be a treatment for morphine addiction, nerves and indigestion.
If Coca-Cola and Aurora form a partnership, it would mark the first foray of a major non-alcoholic beverage producer and a cannabis company.
Last week, Adolphus Busch V, scion of the Anheuser-Busch family, announced he was plowing into pot instead of beer with a startup that sells marijuana vaping pens.