News Nuggets – Q4

Coca-Cola Announced Intent to Explore CBD Drinks

Coca-Cola Company announced on Sept. 17 that it is considering non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) as an ingredient to infuse in drinks. However, the company’s leadership made it clear that psychoactive cannabinoids are out of the question, at this point in time. “We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis,” Coca-Cola clarified in a press release. “Along with many others in the beverage industry, 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.” Not long afterwards, rival company PepsiCo Inc. addressed questions about whether or not it would also be exploring entering the CBD market, but offered mixed answers. Coca-Cola dropped adding traces of cocaine into its drink in 1929, which explains its name, but immediately replaced it with caffeine. The times have changed again as CBD becomes more widely acceptable for infusion in beverages.

 

Cannabis-Infused Drink Market Could Reach $600 Million Over the Next Four Years

Cannabis-infused drinks will be a driving force in the future of the cannabis market, according to a report from Canaccord Genuity. The worldwide cannabis-infused drink market could grow to $600 million by 2022. Big corporate names such as Coca-Cola, Lagunitas, Molson-Coors and Corona  Constellation Brands have introduced or suggested that they may be interested in CBD-infused drinks, which Canaccord valued at $260 million by 2022. In addition, THC-infused drinks could amount to a $340 million market in 2022. “While these trends represent a significant opportunity for U.S. cannabis companies, they have not gone unnoticed by large mainstream beverage players looking to inject growth into their product portfolio,” the Canaccord report read. Now that the beverage industry has caught on, other large corporations will likely follow suit.

 

Dixie Brands, Inc. to Launch Public Listing in Canadian Stock Market

On Oct. 1, Dixie Brands, Inc. announced its merger with Academy Explorations Limited, ahead of the company’s plan to launch a public listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE). In preparation for the listing, Dixie Brands closed its Series C fundraising round at approximately $25 million in funding. Recreational sales that began in Canada on Oct. 17 certainly played a role. “The Federal legalization of marijuana in Canada is further proof that cannabis is no longer a fringe conversation or product,” Dixie Brands CEO Chuck Smith stated in a press release. “By going public on the CSE, we’re investing in Dixie’s future for continued growth with a focus on quality, product innovation and scale.” The company began with a single product, Dixie Elixir, but has expanded its product line, as well as sales to four states and has plans on expanding to four to six more states in 2019.

 

Australian Company to Grow Cannabis in Latin America

Australian medical cannabis manufacturer AusCann announced on Oct. 1 that its Chile-based subsidiary DayaCann signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Canadian medical cannabis company Khiron Life Sciences Corp. to launch operations in Chile. The partnership could help DayaCann create a monopoly on cannabis production in Chile and throughout Latin America. “We look forward to working with Khiron through our joint venture DayaCann,” Managing Director of AusCann Elaine Darby stated in a press release. “To be supplying them high quality cannabinoid medicines and working together on addressing the needs of the Latin American market. The MoU will not only expand DayaCann’s presence in Chile, but also give DayaCann wider access to the Latin American market.” AusCann holds licenses to cultivate and manufacture medical cannabis in Australia. DayaCann and Khiron plan on not only cultivating and manufacturing cannabis, but also conducting research on the plant in Chile.

 

Arizona City Nixes Excessive Medical Cannabis Tax

On Oct. 2, the Phoenix City Council in Arizona denied a proposed tax scheme that many called unreasonable. It would have imposed a $50 per square-foot tax on cultivators and processors and a $280 per square-foot tax on dispensaries, adding up to millions per year. Critics pointed fingers at Phoenix Interim Mayor Thelda Williams, because of the lack of transparency about developing the high tax proposal. Williams attempted to defend herself, citing the reasons for proposing a higher tax rate. “We have recently received information from the Police and Fire Chiefs indicating that our public safety resources in Phoenix are strained,” Williams stated in a letter to the Phoenix City Manager. “It is clear to me that we are unable to keep up with the public safety needs of our city due to financial constraints.” Many businesses that spoke out at the Oct. 2 city council meeting, such as Arizona Natural Selection, claimed that the tax rates would have forced them to shut down.

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