Cowen Group was one of the first major financial institutions to cover the cannabis industry on the equity research side, but on Wednesday, TD Bank Group (TSX: TD) (NYSE: TD) announced on Wednesday that it completed its acquisition of Cowen Inc. (Nasdaq: COWN) and subsequently dropped coverage.
The company also stated on Twitter that previous estimates, price targets, and ratings for the industry could no longer be relied upon.
Cowen analyst Vivien Azer jumped into field early on and took the lead analyzing cannabis companies as she would any other industry. She helped pave the way to removing the stigma of cannabis in the financial world.
The company’s website notes that Azer’s coverage of the tobacco and cannabis sectors has earned her industry accolades, including a spot on Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team on several occasions. In 2022, she was selected as one of the most influential names in cannabis on Forbes’ “The Cannabis 42.0” list.
Azer will continue to cover consumer staples and support the macro work on the cannabis sector, according to TD Bank.
Post Cowen’s acquisition by TD, we are no longer covering securities relating to U.S. multistate-operators in the cannabis sector but would reevaluate if the SAFE Act is passed or Federal regulatory posture changes
“Cowen has been a leader for in-depth, actionable research across equity markets, including emerging growth sectors like cannabis. Post Cowen’s acquisition by TD, we are no longer covering securities relating to U.S. multistate-operators in the cannabis sector but would reevaluate if the SAFE Act is passed or Federal regulatory posture changes,” a spokesman for TD Bank said.
“Our team will continue to provide macro trends based on our consumer data and insights. We will also continue to provide U.S. policy and regulatory insight for the cannabis sector through Cowen’s Washington Research Group.”
Major banks have opted to stay away from cannabis since it remains a federally illegal substance. Despite attempts by Congress, protected banking legislation has failed to materialize. Cannabis stocks have also been underperformers for the past couple of years as valuations have fallen 50% or more.