What To Watch Out For In Cannabis Industry: Cowen's Vivien Azer Shares Insights At Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

With support for legal marijuana at an all-time high, legal states will generate $25 billion in sales in 2021, according to Vivien Azer, managing director and senior research analyst at Cowen, a provider of investment banking services.

Azer, who specializes in beverages, tobacco and sectors, was a speaker at Benzinga's Cannabis Capital Conferencewhich returned this week (Oct. 14-15) to  New York's Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.

Azer projects that by 2025, sales will exceed $40 billion.

Still, the company's third-quarter preview suggests a slowing in the marketplace, likely due to Covid disruption – something management teams within the space have been seeing when reporting earnings in late July and August, the analyst said. 

However, September was the first month where Azer saw year-over-year growth re-accelerate to +54%.

"We do expect continued growth in the category," during fall, she added.

The analyst sees Pennsylvania as the "biggest wild card" that "presents about a billion dollars of risk to our numbers.

"MSOs have been pretty constructive on a pathway towards adult use in Pennsylvania," Azer said, adding that this is evident in "the cultivation plans …

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