Canopy Growth’s strong quarterly revenues indicate the company is already the early leader in Canada’s marijuana market, an analyst says.

The cannabis producer on Thursday reported gross revenue (mostly medical and recreational) soared 283% year-over-year to 97.7 million Canadian dollars ($73.6 million) in the third quarter, topping the Wall Street consensus of 78.7 million Canadian dollars ($59.2 million), according to Bloomberg data.

Thanks to Canada officially legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in October, the company generated 72 million Canadian dollars ($54.3 million) in gross recreational marijuana revenue (pre-excise taxes). By comparison, rival Aurora Cannabis posted 22 million Canadian dollars ($16.6 million) in net adult-use revenue (post-excise taxes).

Canopy’s recreational cannabis business represents a “strong start to the nascent market,” said Cowen analyst Vivien Azer in a note distributed Tuesday. She expects Canopy to have a leading share position in Canada’s adult use market, which she estimates (including medical) can increase to 12 billion Canadian dollars ($9 billion) by 2025.

The company's adult-use net-selling price of 6.96 Canadian dollars per gram also topped Azer's expectations for 5 Canadian dollars per gram.

"We believe that as one of the largest manufacturers, [Canopy Growth] is well positioned to benefit from the growing medical cannabis industry in Canada, particularly given advantages in capacity, distribution, branding, and revenue/category management," she said.

Azer maintained her outperform rating and 82 Canadian dollar price target for Canopy shares trading in Canada - 34% above where they were trading Tuesday.

In May 2018, Canopy Growth went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares were flat for the year until August, when Constellation Brands, the beverage maker behind Corona beer and Svedka vodka, announced a $4 billion investment in the company, sparking a so-called green rush into the cannabis sector and causing companies across the industry to see their valuations more than double in a matter of weeks. Constellation's deal closed in November.

Supported by the investment from the beverage giant, Canopy said in January that it will invest $100-$150 million in an operation site in the southern tier of New York to develop its first extraction and processing facility outside of Canada. The marijuana producer said it has received a license from New York state to process and produce hemp, a source of the popular ingredient cannabidiol, or CBD.