Marijuana is likely to be one of the more hot-button political issues over the next few years. In half the country, marijuana is legal for medicinal use, and full legalization might help curb greater social ills. It seems that full legalization across the country is only a matter of time, so Microsoft is getting on the bandwagon to be your weed dealer.
Well, in a manner of speaking. Microsoft has teamed up with Kind Financial to give them access to Microsoft’s government-grade cloud computing tools. Kind is used for “seed to sale” purposes. Even in states where marijuana is fully legal, growers and dispensaries have quite a bit of paperwork to track, so this software lets them stay on top of crops, track where they go and where they’re sold, and get the appropriate documents on file so they can stay in business.
For Kind, it’s a crucial step because Microsoft’s cloud meets government standards. This means that when a state legalizes it to some degree, Kind can be right there, in compliance, and help dispensaries and growers get set up. It will, at least in theory, narrow the notoriously long gap between legalization laws being passed and opening dispensaries, and help states track transactions and collect the sales tax that comes with them. And for Microsoft, it means being on the ground floor of a potentially enormous industry.
Most interesting, though, is that Microsoft sees an opportunity here. That marks a shift in attitude from corporate America that’s attention-getting, and might presage larger changes sooner than we’re expecting. If corporate America thinks legalization is inevitable, it’s only a matter of time before governments do as well.
(Via Digital Trends)