Microsoft And Cannabis: First Major Company To Get Into Weed Business

Microsoft is about to boldly go where no other company has gone before: the cannabis industry. Although the personal computing and software giant is not about to start growing the popular recreational plant drug that is legal in some American states now, Microsoft is about to make it easier for consumers and advocates to locate and grow their weed business, by allowing its users to track legal pot.

There is something to be said for a company that will take on a controversial topic like legal pot and optimize it for use across its platform of users. Microsoft is the first major American company to bring that taboo out of the closet and do business with it, according to a report by the New York Times.

While the consumption of cannabis is now legal in states such as Colorado and Washington, there are five states that are about to add their names to the list. The biggest of those five states is California, and if the trend keeps going, then many more states will soon be adding their names to the list of recreational legal marijuana territories in the U.S.

If Microsoft can do anything for the legal pot industry, that is to make it easier for consumers to locate a dispensary, or for growers to find the seeds they need. Microsoft can also help states make sure that the sale and consumption of pot stays within the legalities of the state law they serve by tracking it.

Although Microsoft can make the product viable for their consumers, pot use is still considered illegal under federal law, should the federal government decide to enforce those laws of course.

What Microsoft is doing is partnering with another software company, Kind Financial, to help bring the industry into prominent status and in some way reduce the effect the taboo has on marijuana. With that in mind, it clearly indicates that Microsoft sees pot as an industry that will see a significant amount of growth in the next several years, as quoted by Kimberly Nelson, the executive director of state and local government solutions at Microsoft.

“We do think there will be significant growth,” Nelson told the New York Times. “As the industry is regulated, there will be more transactions, and we believe there will be more sophisticated requirements and tools down the road.”

The pot industry has been poised for growth ever since Washington and Colorado legalized cannabis for recreational use in their respective states. There have been many advocates for marijuana over the years and small businesses have been popping up all over the country to give cannabis an online presence to help with expansion.

“Nobody has really come out of the closet, if you will,” Matthew A. Karnes, founder of Green Wave Advisors, told the New York Times. “It’s very telling that a company of this caliber (Microsoft) is taking the risk of coming out and engaging with a company that is focused on the cannabis business.”

At this point in the legal weed movement across the states, cannabis is really struggling to obtain the legitimacy that other major products across the United States currently enjoy. But that could also be a reason that there is such a demand for it, which keeps the prices higher.

With Microsoft getting in on the industry, then there is good reason to believe that the tech giant could help it gain the prominence that it so desperately needs to find a path forward by allowing its users to track legal pot on its platform.

Microsoft is based in Washington, but there are more reasons than just that to get in on the cannabis industry on the ground floor. There are five states that are set to vote on legalizing the recreational use of pot this November, and that could turn the tide of the movement to give it more legitimacy and even bring it into public favor.

[Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images]