Coca-Cola ‘Closely Watching’ Cannabis in Wellness Drinks

The Coca-Cola Company says that it’s “closely watching” the growth of the use of a non-psychoactive element of cannabis in wellness drinks.

The statement Monday came after reports that the beverage giant was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company to create a cannabidiol-infused infused beverage.

Coca-Cola and Aurora Cannabis Inc. both declined to confirm the reports by BNN Bloomberg.

Shares of Aurora were up nearly 17 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on the report.

Coca-Cola says it’s eyeing the growing market for health drinks infused with cannabidiol — or CBD — but has made no decisions.

The beverage giant’s interest is another indication of the growing acceptance of cannabis by established companies.

Spirits maker Constellation Brands bought a minority stake in a Canadian marijuana producer last year.

Coca-Cola has been on a buying spree of late, taking over Britain’s largest coffee chain, Costa, and beloved Maine soda, Moxie. 

Feds Approve Importation of Pot Drug for Tremor Study

In a rare move, the U.S. government has approved the importation of marijuana extracts from Canada for a clinical trial, highlighting a new avenue for American researchers who have had trouble obtaining the drug for medical studies.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego announced Tuesday the Drug Enforcement Administration has OK’d their plan to import capsules containing two key cannabis compounds from Tilray Inc. They want to study the drug’s effectiveness in treating tremors that afflict millions of people.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but the U.S. has a program for supplying it for research. Scientists have long complained about its quality and lack of variety.

Medical marijuana is federally legal in Canada, and the country will allow recreational sale and use beginning next month.

Visa, Mastercard in New Settlement of Credit Card Fee Suit

Visa and Mastercard say they and several banks will pay $6.2 billion to settle part of a long-running lawsuit brought by merchants over fees on credit card transactions.

Visa says it’s paying $4.1 billion and Mastercard is paying about $900 million. The two companies say they’ve already set aside money to cover the payment.

A group of 19 merchants and trade groups alleged Visa and MasterCard conspired to fix fees that are charged to stores for handling credit card payments. Tuesday’s settlement covers the monetary claims in the lawsuit, but a lawsuit over their network rules is ongoing.

The parties agreed to a financial settlement in 2012, but some retailers and consumer groups objected and that settlement was ultimately thrown out by a federal appeals court.

Renault-Nissan Teams With Google for Android in Dashboards

Google is teaming up with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to add the search giant’s Android mobile operating system to the auto alliance’s dashboard media systems.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi said Tuesday that it’s entering into a technology partnership with Google to embed Android-based next-generation infotainment systems into millions of cars starting in 2021.

The deal means drivers will be able to access Google apps like its Maps navigation software or its voice-operated Assistant without needing their phones.

Android powers 80 percent of the world’s smartphones but the automaker said the system will also be compatible with devices running Apple’s mobile operating system and others.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is one of the world’s biggest automaking groups. It sold a combined 10.6 million vehicles last year and aims to raise that to 14 million by 2022.

Japan Eager to be on Board Vertical-Takeoff ‘Flying Cars’

The Japanese government is working on a “flying car” project with major companies like Uber and All Nippon Airways to create electric drones booked through smartphones that can pick people up for short distance transport.

Nobody believes people are going to be zipping around in flying cars any time soon, but participants say they hope to have a road map for the plan ready by the year’s end. It’s unclear if they can attain their goal of flying up and light the torch at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Many hurdles remain, such as battery life, the need for regulations and of course safety concerns.

But dozens such projects are popping up around the world, and Uber says it is considering Tokyo as its first launch city for its UberAir service.

FedEx Downplays US-China Trade Spat’s Impact on its Business

FedEx Corp. (FDX) on Monday reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $835 million.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company said it had net income of $3.10 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $3.46 per share.

The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $3.78 per share.

The package delivery company posted revenue of $17.05 billion in the period, exceeding Street forecasts. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $16.88 billion.

FedEx expects full-year earnings in the range of $17.20 to $17.80 per share.

FedEx shares have climbed 2.5 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen 8 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Monday, shares hit $255.73, a climb of 19 percent in the last 12 months.

General Mills Fiscal 1Q Sales Fall Short

General Mills Inc. reported mixed first-quarter financial results as costs weighed down profit and a sales increase fell short of expectations.

Shares fell 3.7 percent, or $1.77, to $46 in premarket trading.

The Minneapolis-based company’s profit fell 3.1 percent to $392.3 million, or 65 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and costs related to mergers and acquisitions, came to 71 cents per share.

Sales rose 8.6 percent to $4.09 billion on gains outside its core North America market.

The results were mixed, with profit topping Wall Street expectations of 64 cents per share, but revenue falling short of a forecast for $4.12 billion.

The maker of Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and other packaged foods faced increased costs during the quarter as it continues shifting its marketing strategy and focusing on healthier food options.

The company bought Blue Buffalo pet products earlier this year, expanding its offerings into the gourmet pet food market. It has also boosted marketing and its focus on brands including Haagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, and organic brands.

It also made a deal this year to create South Dakota’s largest organic crop farm as the food giant works to secure enough organic ingredients to meet consumer demand.

Looking ahead, the company reaffirmed its fiscal 2019 outlook for sales and earnings per share.

General Mills shares have declined 19 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 8 percent. The stock has fallen 14 percent in the last 12 months.

SeaWorld, Ex-Execs Must Pay $5M to Settle ‘Blackfish’ Claim

SeaWorld and two former executives on Tuesday agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle federal fraud claims that they misled investors about the negative impact the 2013 documentary “Blackfish” had on business. The SEC’s complaint alleged SeaWorld and former CEO James Atchison made misleading and false statements or omissions in SEC filings, earnings releases and calls about the documentary’s impact on the company’s reputation and business from December 2013 to August 2014.

© The Associated Press. All rights reserved.