Microsoft is going green.
Microsoft is jumping into bed with Kind Financial, a cannabis engaged software company. According to its website, Kind Financial offers software and financial technology empowering the cannabis industry users to make secure and safe transactions whilst remaining in compliance with law. The software allows customers to track inventory, navigate laws and handle transactions all through Kind’s software systems. Not that Bill Gates is a stranger to the cannabis world and has previously openly advocated marijuana legalization.
Kind has stated that ‘Microsoft has entered a partnership with Kind Financia
l to create an entity that will obtain government contracts to track seed-to-sale compliance in the legalized marijuana business.’
The partnership is the first ever major tech company of its kind to allow its name to be related to the blossoming legal marijuana industry.
The new partnership will be named ‘Kind Government Solutions’ and will provide state, county and local municipalities with tracking information on marijuana sales to keep them in compliance with government regulations.
Microsoft selected Kind to be a part of its newly created Microsoft Health and Human Services Pod but has not specified why this particular company was chosen.
“We support government customers and partners to help them meet their missions,” Microsoft said in a statement provided to the E-Commerce Times by spokesperson Brooke Randell. “Kind Financial is building solutions on our government cloud to help these agencies regulate and monitor controlled substances and items, and manage compliance with jurisdictional laws and regulations.”
It seems as though Microsoft is cashing in on this extremely lucrative industry, (it is thought to be worth $5.4 billion US) but due to the ambiguous state-by-state marijuana legalization, there are few companies willing to invest millions of dollars into a long-term commitment. However, with an institution such as Microsoft now being involved in the marijuana industry, it looks like it is only set to grow…(pardon the pun)
“Regulation and compliance from one state to the next is still a huge challenge,” noted Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. There is very little in the way of consistency or reciprocity between states’ regulatory programs, so a company that wants to operate in more than one state really does have to approach each one almost from scratch,” she told the E-Commerce Times.
However, there are still major challenges to be overcome in terms of banking and business operations relating to Cannabis sales and the medical industry. This is partly due to the federal laws marijuana prohibition. Just last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee last week voted 16-14 to approve a measure that would allow banks to provide services to marijuana businesses because ‘forcing legal marijuana business to carry bags full of cash to pay their taxes, employees and bills’ is counter-productive suggested Sen. Jeff Merkely, D-Ore., who co-authored the amendment. “This is an invitation to robberies, money laundering and organized crime.”
Up until now, the marijuana industry has ‘been an underground business where no one wanted any record of transactions,’ he told the E-Commerce Times. “Entrepreneurs just starting up in the business are starting with a good knowledge of their domain — growing weed — but no real knowledge of modern business practices and legal supply chain economics.”
We say good on Microsoft – every instance of an event such as this is a positive contribution to the medial and legal cannabis industry.