Microsoft is getting into the marijuana software business

Satya Nadella talkingMicrosoftMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella

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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