TechStage

Microsoft is the first major company to dabble in the flourishing cannabis industry following a partnership deal announced today with the Los Angeles-based seed-to-sale tracking software company KIND Financial, the New York Times reports.

Microsoft will be working with KIND’s “government solutions” division, which focuses on software for state and local governments in their pursuit of regulatory compliance. KIND’s Agrisoft Seed to Sale for Government software will be offered through Microsoft’s Azure Government, “the only cloud platform designed to meet government standards for the closely regulated cannabis compliance programs,” said Kimberly Nelson, Microsoft’s Executive Director of State and Local Government Solutions.

The tech giant’s willingness to cooperate with a company focused solely on legal cannabis could indicate that legitimate infrastructure is on its way for the nascent industry. “We do think there will be significant growth,” Nelson said. “As the industry is regulated, there will be more transactions, and we believe there will be more sophisticated requirements and tools down the road.”

David Dinenberg, Founder and CEO of KIND Financial, said in a company press release:

“No one can predict the future of cannabis legalization, however, it is clear that legalized cannabis will always be subject to strict oversight and regulations similar to alcohol and tobacco; and, KIND is proud to offer governments and regulatory agencies the tools and technology to monitor cannabis compliance. I am delighted that Microsoft supports KIND’s mission to build the backbone for cannabis compliance.”

The announcement follows another major development this week for Microsoft: the tech giant announced Monday that it was purchasing the social networking site LinkedIn in an historic $26.2 billion deal.

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