Microsoft builds software for legal marijuana industry

© Jaime Saldarriaga
With more and more states legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use, Microsoft has entered into a partnership to build software that tracks the drug “from seed to sale.”

Microsoft will work with pot-focused startup KIND Financial to create services for governments tracking legal weed, according to a Thursday statement.

The venture is a milestone for the nascent legal pot business, with Microsoft becoming the first major corporation to take a whiff. Marijuana is still considered illegal by the federal government, even though 24 states and Washington, DC have legalized the substance for recreational or medicinal use.

But smaller companies like KIND have been in the game for years. The Los Angeles, California-based company makes what it calls “Agrisoft Seed to Sale software,” which lets those in the marijuana business make sure that they are in line with the trade’s regulations.

By partnering with Microsoft, KIND is offering similar systems to governments to help them keep track of sales for taxation purposes and monitor regulatory compliance from the other since of the fence.

“The goal of this relationship is to leverage each company's resources to provide State, County, and Municipalities with purpose built solutions for track and trace ('seed to sale' in the cannabis industry) technology,” KIND said in its statement.

The new government-facing software will use Azure, Microsoft’s cloud business.

“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,” a Microsoft spokesman told Business Insider. “KIND Financial is building solutions on Microsoft's cloud platform to help government agencies act in their governmental capacity.

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.

It’s likely that more major companies will enter the burgeoning legal marijuana industry as it grows ever bigger. Another five states will vote on legalizing marijuana for recreational use this fall, including California, the most populous state in the US.