PepsiCo just became the latest beverage company to say it's looking at the fast-growing cannabis market

  • PespiCo CFO Hugh Johnston told CNBC on Tuesday the company will look "critically" at investing in cannabis.
  • Cannabis federally illegal in the U.S., but it is legal in Canada, where some companies have been investing.
  • Coca-Cola last month said it is "closely watching" CBD, the part of cannabis that does not give users high
Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo

PepsiCo is taking a hard look at the cannabis industry as other beverage makers explore the market.

"I think we'll look at it critically, but I'm not prepared to share any plans that we may have in the space right now," Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston told Jim Cramer and Sara Eisen on CNBC's Squawk on the Street on Tuesday.

Cannabis, which is federally illegal in the U.S., but legal in some states and in Canada, has attracted increasing attention from food and beverage companies as either an opportunity for future growth, or conversely, a threat to their brands.

Corona beer maker Constellation this summer announced an additional $4 billion stake in Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth, following up on a previous investment in October.

Coca-Cola last month said it is "closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages," after reports surfaced it may be eyeing the cannabis-infused drink market.

The CBD is derived from the marijuana plant that some people believe provides therapeutic relief. It does not include THC, which is what gives cannabis-users a "high."

Shares of cannabis stocks Tilray and Aurora, were lower on Tuesday as some traders were possibly expecting a more enthusiastic endorsement of the industry from PepsiCo.

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