An official statement issued by Coca-Cola on Sept. 17 reveals that the corporation is “closely watching” industry growth of the non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (aka CBD) for possible inclusion in a forthcoming line of “functional wellness beverages.” According to Bloomberg, Coca-Cola is presently engaged in talks with Canadian cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis regarding research and development of such beverages. If Coca-Cola follows through on their CBD beverage concept, the corporate giant will join businesses as diverse as Estée Lauder’s Origins skincare and Constellation Brands, the maker of popular alcoholic beverages Corona beer, Casa Noble tequila and Svedka vodka.
Constellation Brands doubled down on their 2017 purchase of a 10 percent stake in Ontario-based cannabis company Canopy Growth by investing an additional $4 billion last month. Forbes reports that Origins is capitalizing on the nascent cannabis beauty market with the launch of their new celadon green face mask Hello, Calm™ which boasts omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids from hemp-harvested cannabis sativa seed oil. Starting Oct. 17, products that contain cannabis or cannabinoids like THC and CBD as ingredients can be legally sold in Canada. As cannabis or hemp seed oil contains almost no bioactive cannabidiol, it can be legally acquired in the US and other nations behind the legalization curve.
The highest court in South Africa issued its ruling on a lawsuit filed by Rastafarian cannabis activists in opposition to the national ban on adult use of cannabis, aka “dagga,” on Sept. 18. As High Times reporting notes, the Constitutional Court’s decision found government prohibition of adult cannabis use illegal on constitutional grounds. Of the unanimous court decision, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo noted that private possession, growth and use of cannabis are protected by provisions included in the South African Constitution.
The first laws restricting cannabis use in South Africa were passed in 1922; the focus of recent cultural and legal advocacy efforts concentrated on a push for medical and religious exemptions to the government ban. The use of cannabis in South Africa was already popular among indigenous peoples by 1652, prior to European settlement of the Cape. More recent cultural cannabis activism originates with the Rastafari religion and social movement. Rastafari practices or “livity” include communal meetings called “groundations” wherein adherents ritualistically smoke cannabis, a beneficial sacrament.