March 29, 2019 / 1:50 PM / in a year

BUZZ-On a high: Cannabis sales in U.S. nearly doubled in 2018 - Cowen

** Cannabis sales among adults in the U.S. rose 80.5 pct in 2018 following the legalization of recreational use in California in Jan. 2018, according to Cowen & Co

** Growth has slowed to 41.2 pct so far in 2019, but use in California remains robust with YTD (through Feb) growth of almost 120 pct - Cowen

** Brokerage says trend in CA likely to continue as illicit market converts to legal sales and restrictive local regulations/taxes are repealed

** Across California, Washington, Colorado and Nevada flowers remain the most common form of use (43 pct of market), however, it is quickly losing out to new form factors such as vapor pens (22.6 pct) and concentrates (9.3 pct), research shows

** Weed stocks have jumped in the last year on investments from big beverage and tobacco companies and as a number of U.S. states and Canada legalized recreational use of cannabis

** Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF up nearly 30 pct in the last 12 month, while ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF up 25.9 pct

** Cowen in January forecast U.S. cannabis sales of $80 bln by 2030

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru

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