Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently announced that it has partnered with a startup firm based in California. The two firms will use technology to keep track of marijuana sales for the local government.
Microsoft firm has teamed up with the startup known as Kind and they will track cannabis seeds sales to local governments. Microsoft’s involvement in a marijuana-related business highlights the rising acceptance of pot. A recent report on the matter revealed that the project will involve the recently launched Microsoft Health and Human Services Pod for Managed Service Providers.
Microsoft’s executive director of state and local government solutions, Kimberly Nelson, stated that the deal acknowledges Microsoft Azure as the only platform that complies with government standards for cannabis compliance programs. Microsoft’s decision to venture into the marijuana industry is inspired by the impressive numbers from the marijuana industry. Research data provided by ArcView estimates that legal marijuana sales will rise to $6.7 billion in 2016. The sales are also expected to reach $22 billion by the year 2020.
The impressive sales numbers are the result of the growing acceptance of marijuana in American society and globally as well. The numbers have also been good for tax revenues. Colorado has generated $70 million in marijuana taxes for the fiscal year ended June 30, almost double the alcohol tax collected within the same period. All this has been taking place despite the fact that the DEA has refused to declassify marijuana from the Schedule 1 category. It is also determined to uphold strict regulations on medical marijuana.
The classification does not seem to have any impact on the industry because the legalization for medical use in various states allows for regulated consumption. The classification mainly affects research studies carried out on the drug. Relaxed regulations in the future might also support more positive growth going forward. However, it is not clear whether the DEA will agree to change its stance on marijuana, but at this point, who are they fooling?