Microsoft is jumping into the marijuana-software business (MSFT)

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Satya Nadella talking

Microsoft
CEO Satya Nadella


Microsoft


Now that marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use in 20
states, there’s a whole crop of IT companies sprouting up to
support this fledgling, but clearly lucrative, industry.

As of Thursday, you can count Microsoft among them, according to
a press release issued by its pot-software partner, a company

called Kind Financial
.

This is the first time Microsoft has done a pot-industry-related
partnership, a
Microsoft spokesperson confirmed
.

Kind makes software that allows cannabis-business owners to run
their businesses while also verifying that they are complying
with all the regulations that govern the trade.

This partnership with Microsoft is to offer governments similar
tools for tracking all the pot companies (from “seed to sale
tracking” as Kind puts it), to monitor that these businesses are
in compliance with the rules.

Remember that in the states where pot is legal, states are often
collecting hefty taxes on sales as well as strictly regulating
who is allowed to grow or sell what, so governments increasingly
need software to help.

Kind will be running this new software for governments in
Microsoft’s cloud, Azure. A spokesperson tells us:

The Microsoft Cloud for Government supports government missions
to regulate and monitor controlled substances and items, from the
Department of Justice regulating tobacco and firearms to a state
regulating legal cannabis. KIND Financial is building solutions
on Microsoft’s cloud platform to help government agencies act in
their governmental capacity.

In the press release, Microsoft’s director of government
solutions Kimberly Nelson also said:

KIND agreed that Azure Government is the only cloud platform
designed to meet government standards for the closely regulated
cannabis compliance programs.

That’s high praise indeed.

Microsoft could not be immediately reached for additional
comment.

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