Pepsi Eying Cannabis Beverage Market

As the date for the commencement of legal cannabis sales in Canada approaches, and marijuana legalization continues to spread, a number of beverage manufacturers have shown interest by observing the industry or investing financially in existing companies.

Last month, the Coca-Cola company announced that it was observing the growth of cannabidiol (CBD) in countries around the world to determine whether it could be used it as a therapeutic beverage ingredient.

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has a wide variety of uses including pain relief.

Now, PepsiCo Inc. is the latest drink maker to turn their attention to the legal cannabis market, but only to watch for the moment.

“I think we’ll look at it critically,” PepsiCo CFO Hugh Johnston told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday. ”But I’m not prepared to share any plans that we may have in the space right now.”

According to AdAge, PepsiCo’s shares remained stable in early trading Tuesday following the release of the company’s quarterly earnings but dropped 1.7% to $108.88 after Johnston announced that they had no current plans to get into cannabis.

Within a few years, the CBD market is projected to become a billion-dollar industry with the distinct possibility of overtaking THC sales within a couple of years.