Will Coca-Cola Make CBD soda?

 Image credit:  Rick Harris

Image credit: Rick Harris

Recently the soda giant, Coca-Cola, announced that it was studying the CBD market. The newswires and resulting gossip train went a bit crazy over what is, basically, a nothing announcement. Good for them. We are all studying the CBD market, and for good reason. It is a potential gold mine, not only financially, but also from a brand perspective. If CBD isn’t bastardized it truly lives up to its stated potential in helping people effectively deal with pain management, chronic illnesses and more. I’ve seen the effects first-hand, and many times over. CBD is amazing.

“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.” - Coca-Cola Company

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The big question is: Can Coca Cola resist it's urges to pedal crap? Let’s be honest (not the tea, though Coke did buy them too), we are talking about a company that earns the majority of its revenue happily serving its customers a product some consider liquid poison, and yet owns every beverage distribution channel worldwide, plus the world’s best marketing team.

What’s to stop the company from importing tons of cheap CBD oil from China, adding it to Coca-Cola and re-launching it in legal markets as a new line called, ‘The Original Coke’? Nothing. Then, by the time CBD is legalized federally, people everywhere will demand The OC, and Coke will be more than happy to deliver a $%@! ton of marginalized product. If we are all in business solely for profits and wealth, well then, someday we will all look back and say, ‘nicely played Coke.’

But business today doesn’t have to be played that way.

Coca-Cola could, for example, miraculously establish an ethos and start operating in a more responsible and transparent manner that invites inspection of its product, ingredients, etc., starting with its CBD cola launch. If that actually happened, that would be an awesome societal shift. In fact, I would even have an OC and celebrate! As a result of this new transparency, the Coca-Cola brand could once again become relevant and picky consumers could once again become Coke brand advocates like we were in the 70’s and 80’s. Remember how cool Coke was? It was the real thing:

Ah, the good old days, when there were basically three television channels and American consumers bought stuff from whichever companies put together the best advertisements. In fact, this many years later I’m still fighting the urge to merge your chocolate with my peanut butter, Robby Benson, but I’m not exactly buying Coca-Cola’s ‘interest’ in CBD right now.

Like me (I’m a PCC shopper - this is my anthem), today’s consumers are woke. There is myriad food data available to consumers compared with the 70’s and many have walked away from the food industrial complex in lieu of unprocessed, organic and locally produced food. Cannabis and CBD consumers are no different. Those who are woke don’t do coke. If Coca-Cola jumps into the CBD market with mass-produced drinks created with chemicals and questionable CBD sources, it will sell bundles, but only to the crowd that will someday buy Marlboro Green pre-rolls. That is not our customer at Canna West Seattle.

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We sell real CBD products, produced by local sources and tested for efficacy. If you are curious about CBD and want to learn more, stop by our store this Sunday and speak to one of our expert bud tenders.