The world today is driven by the age of computer technology. The internet alone has propelled humanity to great heights by spreading new knowledge, ideas and innovation faster than ever, globally! It’s only natural that Microsoft, a techno giant and a leader of the internet revolution, has entered a new and rapidly growing, billion dollar industry… cannabis.
One can only imagine how this will change the future of this once prohibited (and still in many countries) plant.
A huge part of the cannabis revolution we see nowadays is made possible by the internet. Cannabis advocates have been using the internet to spread “the truth” about the plant. They have been teaching people about the benefits and medicinal properties of cannabis since the prohibition started in the 1930s.
As different states in the U.S.A are legalizing cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, the cannabis industry has become a new revenue generating monster that has flooded the market, as discussed in Business Trend Alert: Getting Into the Cannabis Business.
Microsoft Enters the Cannabis Game
Microsoft, a huge player in the realm of computer technology, partners up with KIND financial, a company that has been making software for the cannabis industry for years.
These two companies are set to launch a financial tracking system that will help state and local government monitor the industry sales as the marketplace is changing rapidly.
The agreement was announced at PRnewswire in Los Angeles on June 16, 2016.
The legal sale of cannabis under the government’s radar is also one of the things that Microsoft and KIND would want to address. Because of this, the software will include Microsoft’s “Azure Government” which will monitor the following:
- Track sales & revenue of cannabis
- Check they are legal sales
- Make sure businesses are complying with the guidelines
The Software is going to be cloud integrated, meaning, it can be accessed through the internet in any location by specific private officials responsible for monitoring sales.
Even Allen St Pierre, the executive director of NORML, the oldest and most popular of all marijuana advocate groups, agrees with the move and that this will propel the industry forward to a corporate America.
Who Will Follow Their Footsteps?
The cannabis revolution and its road to legalization is being debated all over the world. As we see more states and countries opening up its doors to cannabis, it will only be a matter of time before we see other big companies joining the game.
Right now, we see a lot of smaller tech companies that have been trying to penetrate that industry for years. Some of these companies are even being funded or assisted by the big guys like Apple. Reports are also saying that Google will soon be taking a slice of the cannabis pie too.
Tech companies that will potentially follow Microsoft’s big moves are:
- FlowHub – a software company that is moving towards a perfect seed-to-sale management system, to distribute seeds efficiently all over the United States.
- Headset – this company is focused more on software for inventory purposes and store management.
- GetLeaf – A company pioneering the “plug-and-plant growing system”. The technology will make it possible to track your plant’s performance in growth for an optimum harvest.
- Biotrack – another managing software that helps you build your cannabis business from scratch.
- Cannabis Reports – an online database that allows cannabis business owners to get valuable information about latest products in the cannabis market and information on cannabis that’s archived.
What’s Stopping Them?
Furthermore, big companies are having second thoughts about investing in cannabis. This is because cannabis is still illegal at a Federal Level.
The fear of big companies being raided by federal officials operating under legal state laws proves to be a problem. Also, another major business hurdle for companies is that banks still won’t allow money generated from the marijuana trade in their system. The reason why is thanks to the federal laws on money laundering which poses the biggest threat to companies.
Even if there will come a time for companies to be allowed to operate under a more liberal set of legal provisions for cannabis, multi-million dollar investments toward cannabis will always still be at risk.
There is still an ongoing stigma that circulates around cannabis. This, I think, is what hinders other bigger companies from entering the game and capitalizing on this miracle plant.