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No. 1 Wall Street pot analyst says the marijuana market will be much bigger than she first thought

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018

The cannabis industry's rapid evolution and new strategic partnerships with mainstream brands reveal a far larger possible market for legal marijuana than investors and analysts first anticipated, according to Cowen.

"With cannabis, you're talking about this massive step change in terms of the addressable market," Vivien Azer said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Wednesday. "You're bringing a $7 billion illicit market into the legal market and so it does require a different valuation framework," she added, referring to the soon-to-be legalized recreational use of marijuana in Canada.

Azer, the only pot analyst from a major Wall Street research house, nearly tripled her 12-month price forecast on Canadian marijuana producer Tilray this week to $172 from $62 because of this realization. The new target for the stock, which trades in the U.S. on the Nasdaq, implies more than 30 percent upside from here. She also upped her forecast on Canopy Growth.

Just how big the market will get is tough to put a number on right now, but Azer cited a former Procter & Gamble executive in her report this week who estimated the market could be one day worth $500 billion.

Richard Lautens | Toronto Star | Getty Images Dried plants are processed and trimmed by hand. A a state-of-the-art fully automated medical marijuana production facility is in a nondescript building in Scarborough.