With Canada about to legalize recreational use of marijuana, the industry's rapid evolution and new strategic partnerships with mainstream brands reveal a far larger possible market for cannabis 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" on Wednesday. "You're bringing a $7 billion illicit market into the legal market and so it does require a different valuation framework."
Azer, the only marijuana 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. The new target for the stock, which trades in the U.S. on the Nasdaq, implies more than 30 percent upside from current levels. She also upped her forecast on Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth.
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