World’s leading carbonated soft drink maker, Coca-Cola Co., said it has developed an interest in the cannabis drinks market and wants to take advantage of it with hopes of supplementing its declining sales. This could present an immense opportunity for Nigeria.
Coca-Cola’s surprising disclosure comes just as many companies in America and elsewhere are finding new ways to utilise the marijuana plant which traditionally serves recreational purposes. As Bloomberg reports, the company is already in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis, as it works to develop the special Coke blend.
A spokesman for the company, Kent Landers, said the plan is to infuse a non-intoxicant component of the plant in Coca-Cola drinks with hopes of relieving pain without getting people high.
“We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.” -Landers
Coca-Cola is following trends while trying to stay relevant
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola is not the only drink manufacturer looking at taking advantage of the therapeutic components of marijuana while also keeping in touch with trends.
Just recently, American brewer, Constellation Brands Inc. said it would increase its investment in Canopy Growth Corp (a Canadian marijuana company) with $3.8 billion.
In Canada, a company known as Molson Coors Brewing Co. partnered with a cannabis maker- Quebec’s Hexo’s Corp. to manufacture cannabis drinks. Even Diageo Plc, makers of Guinness beer, are reportedly in talks with several Canadian cannabis maker over a possible deal.
How this could benefit Nigeria
With the increasing interest in cannabis by the likes of Coca Cola Co., Nigeria could potentially benefit. This is considering the fact that the country is a major source of cannabis in the world. Unfortunately, a large volume of the plant cultivated in the country are currently used for recreational purposes, just as many people abuse it even as the authorities struggle to regulate it.
There is currently no regulation in favour of the cultivation, consumption, and exportation of marijuana in Nigeria. Yet, many large expanses of arable fields are cultivated yearly. This could, therefore, be exploited even as Nigeria stands the chance of gaining millions in foreign exchange .