Wall Street's Top Marijuana Analyst Says She's Underestimated the Cannabis Industry

As Canada gets set to legalize recreational marijuana in less than six days, many people are optimistic about the future of the cannabis industry. And it appears even Wall Street is getting warmer as well.

Vivien Azer appeared on CNBC to discuss the upcoming legalization in Canada, and she also discussed her recent decision to increase her projections for multiple cannabis stocks. Azer is the only marijuana analyst employed by a major Wall Street research firm. She says projections for just how big the cannabis industry will be in North America keep increasing, and that there's no telling how large it will get.

"Our broader, big picture view of cannabis goes beyond the adult use launch in Canada," she wrote in a report this week. "Rather, we believe this is the first step toward the establishment of cannabis as a key functional ingredient touching multiple consumer categories with four key verticals: adult use, beauty and nutraceuticals, OTC pain and sleep, and pharmaceuticals."

Azer noted that there's almost no way to know just how big the cannabis industry will get, and she pointed to one estimate that it will one day be worth $500 billion. 

She also noted that the uncertainty regarding the legality of the industry will help explain a lot of the volatility in the cannabis market, and that people shouldn't be too concerned about seemingly drastic shifts in stocks.

"There have been no shortage of recent catalysts to spur market and investor interest," Azer said. "As such, volatility should be seen as a natural occurrence in the cannabis market, and not dissimilar to other nascent industries."

(h/t CNBC)

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