Microsoft Announces Bold Step into the Cannabis Industry

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Thursday, June 16, Microsoft announced its first major partnership with a cannabis-related business software company. Together Microsoft and Los Angeles-based Kind Financial will roll out government-facing contracts for a seed-to-sale tracking system and other business tools.

Just about every major bank has been unwilling to have anything to do with cannabis startups. Microsoft’s venture could change all that. Kind Financial will participate with Microsoft’s Health and Human Services Pod for Managed Service Providers.

“Every business that works in the cannabis space, we all clamor for legitimacy,” David Dinenberg, the founder of Kind, told the New York Times. “I would like to think that this is the first of many dominoes to fall.”

Expect to see the perks that legal industries enjoy like ATM-like kiosks. The Kind software will be one of eight choices of software available to the users of Microsoft’s Azure government software. The seed-to-sales software, Agrisoft, will help growers track their plants every step of the way. The young legal cannabis industry, without cash, has been winging it throughout the course of its run. The software will assist businesses as they traverse through complicated compliance obstacles.

Bill Gates said in 2014 that he voted “yes” on Washington’s successful recreational bill. “It’s an experiment, and it’s probably good to have a couple states try it out to see before you make that national policy,” he said in an interview.

Kind and Microsoft have applied for a contract with Puerto Rico. Most predict the companies will move into Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

“No one can predict the future of cannabis legalization, however, it is clear that legalized cannabis will always be subject to strict oversight and regulations similar to alcohol and tobacco; and, Kind is proud to offer governments and regulatory agencies the tools and technology to monitor cannabis compliance,” Dinenberg said.

Kind Financial will first be marketing the software at conferences to government employees, and then to everyone else.

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