After criminalizing cannabis for so long, more states across the US are shifting their policies and legalizing the plant. At least 16 states and Washington, DC, have made recreational weed legal, while 19 states have a medical cannabis program in place. New York celebrated when it became one of the latest states to join the recreational marijuana club. But in all of this excitement, there’s one issue that remains: What happens to all of the people who have criminal records because of weed?
Marijuana legalization means that bigger corporate interests and institutional capital will enter the industry and start competing with the businesses and entrepreneurs who have been at it for decades.
Microsoft is about to help the government regulate your weed.
The tech giant will join forces with KIND Financial, a company that makes software for the cannabis industry, to help state and local officials track marijuana sales, according to a press release Thursday. Essentially, Microsoft’s “Azure Government” service will help ensure that legal sales of cannabis are above board.
With marijuana now legal in some form throughout 23 states, the number of Americans who fatally overdosed on the drug last year was significant: