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Microsoft is dipping its toe in the legal marijuana business.
The giant tech company is partnering with a startup that makes software for the booming legal cannabis industry. Los Angeles-based Kind Financial said Thursday that Microsoft will help it market its software to local and state government agencies that monitor marijuana growers or distributors for compliance with regulations governing pot production and sales.
Microsoft is best known for making software for personal computers. But as PC sales have declined, the company has been building a "cloud computing" business that provides online services for big businesses and organizations, including software that runs in Microsoft's data centers. Kind's software will run on Microsoft's "Azure Government" cloud, a network that provides online services for public agencies.
Marijuana sales aren't allowed under U.S. federal law, but states are taking the matter into their own hands: Colorado, Oregon and Washington state have all legalized marijuana and a handful of others, including California, are voting to potentially do the same this fall.