Microsoft contributed significantly to the rise of the information age. Now the tech giant appears ready to contribute to another movement, the cannabis revolution.
With over half of the United States and Canadian population living in jurisdictions that permit the legal use of medical marijuana, many tech companies like Microsoft are noticing the growing and potentially lucrative industry.
Microsoft has announced a partnership with Kind Financial. Kind develops software that guides marijuana business operators to ensure legal compliance. This partnership will be known as Kind Government Solutions.
Both Microsoft and Kind will set out to provide state and local governments with “seed-to-sale” software that will help authorities monitor and regulate cannabis businesses. Financial information, point of sale transactions, and other information will be available for government officials.
KIND Financial founder and CEO David Dinenberg said:
“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. I am delighted that Microsoft supports KIND’s mission to build the backbone for cannabis compliance.”
Microsoft could usher in some needed reform in the cannabis industry. Cannabis companies are not permitted access to the banking system. This means that most cannabis businesses have to resort simply to using cash. Shops typically have cash on premises and can become targets. Additionally, this makes it difficult for honest businesses to be transparent financially. Conversely, it provides dishonest businesses with the ability to shield their finances.
Microsoft is likely the largest company to enter the legal cannabis space. Perhaps their work on compliance will prompt government and banking authorities to feel comfortable allowing cannabis companies access to the financial system. Could a company entering the industry with the size and global name recognition of Microsoft even further legitimize cannabis for the mainstream?