- The software giant founded by Bill Gates has decided to bank on the legal marijuana market, to this end allying with KIND Financial, an L.A.-based start-up focused on providing technological and financial services to the cannabis industry.
In the last few years the U.S. has witnessed a steady trend towards the legalisation of marijuana, now affecting a total of 25 states. Joining them is Washington DC, where Microsoft has offices and cannabis is fully legal. The outlook indicates that it is a sector on the rise whose consolidation will really have the financial sectors talking.
Precisely for this reason, Microsoft seems to have decided to take the lead, signing an agreement with KIND Financial, a company that since its founding in 2013 has developed technologies applied to the cannabis industry. The result of their work is Agrisoft Seeds, a computer program that facilitates the monitoring of marijuana, from its planting through to its sale.
The company indicates that in this way it serves as a liaison between cannabis companies, regulation agencies and institutions; an effective solution, thus, to streamline oversight and monitoring of the plant and its management, ensuring compliance with the laws in each state.
The software developed by the start-up will now function thanks to Azure, the Microsoft platform installed at the company data centres. Together they will expedite sales and trade in the states where marijuana, whether medical or recreational, is legal.
Both companies have stated that the aim of their alliance is to work closely together and facilitate the government's efforts by offering a computing structure that effectively monitors the sector's activity.
The agreement is certainly bold: although the legalisation of marijuana is gaining ground in the country, consumption is still quite stigmatised, and despite it being a very promising sector, it does not yet attract major investments.
Microsoft can now mark a turning point in the evolution of the nascent legal marijuana market. Although the results remain to be seen, for now it can be said that it has paved the way for other US corporate giants to take a serious look at the cannabis industry.