You might say that Vivien Azer is the OG of cannabis analysts. A managing director at the financial firm Cowen and Company, Azer was the first major Wall Street analyst to begin covering the cannabis industry—a sector she added to her mix of beverage and tobacco companies in 2016. Three years later, the world’s biggest banks are still scrambling to cover the growing cannabis industry, which Azer projects will be worth $80 billion by 2030 in the US alone.
Quartz caught up with Azer just after she wrapped up at Cowen’s cannabis summit in Canada, where many of the mega-producers she covers are based. She told us why she’s bullish on CBD, how she sees the structure of this new industry developing, and what makes the CBD business different from booze or beauty.