Microsoft has officially entered into the legal marijuana business. It has partnered with “Kind” a weed financing startup according to a report by the NY Times. The companies plan on creating an Azure powered cloud apps which will be able to track the journey of a plant, from seed till sale.
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This will turn out to be beneficial for legal weed dealers as it will help them stay in line with the law. This decision however must have been taken after a lot of consideration as entering in to the marijuana business is still something many companies are reluctant to do.
However Microsoft can justify this step as it operates out of Washington DC where weed is perfectly legal and will probably end up making huge profits from this untapped market segment.
Kimberly Nelson from Microsoft told NYT that “we do think there will be significant growth, as the industry is regulated, there will be more transactions, and we believe there will be more sophisticated requirements and tools down the road”.
With weed being legal in 25 states already with 5 more voting to legalize it including California and Nevada, Silicon Valley has seen quite a number of new startups emerge in lieu of these happenings. Despite this Corporate America still sees weed with distaste and has not made it easy for legal weed dealers to prosper.
An example of this would be the hard time they face in acquiring loans from banks. To remove the taboo of illegal and bad from itself the marijuana industry will have to strictly follow the law and establish itself as a respectable place to invest in.
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In response to its collaboration with Microsoft, Kind made the following statement “The goal of this relationship is to leverage each company's resources to provide state, county, and municipalities with purpose built solutions for [cannabis seed to sale] technology”.