TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk jokingly tweeted Wednesday that his next business venture will be to purchase the popular soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola to “put the cocaine back in” the drink. “Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in,” Musk’s tweet said. Less than 24 hours later, the post surpassed half a million retweets and 3 million likes.
While the comment was more than likely satirical in nature, it does bear some historical truth.
In the late 1800s, cocaine was used as a primary ingredient for flavor in Coca-Cola, according to the DEA Museum. The amount of cocaine added to the drink slowly reduced over time until it was removed from the list of ingredients entirely in the early 1900s.
“Today the extract of the coca leaves, a de-cocainized version, is manufactured in the United States and used in the flavoring for Coca-Cola,” an excerpt on the DEA Museum’s website stated. “The crude cocaine that is left over is used by select pharmaceutical companies for medicines.”
Musk’s tongue-in-cheek comment came days after the billionaire reached an agreement to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion.
Musk said in a joint statement with Twitter that he wants to make the service “better than ever.” He added that new features such as getting rid of automated “spam” accounts and making its algorithms open to the public could be on the horizon.
The outspoken Tesla CEO has said he wanted to own and privatize Twitter because he thinks it’s not living up to its potential as a platform for free speech.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.