The tech giant, in association with KIND Financial, looks to track weed data for the benefit of states and growers

As the burgeoning marijuana economy matures in both dollars and consumer acceptance, corporate America has largely neglected the controversial space. But technology leader Microsoft bucked that trend Thursday, announcing a partnership with Los Angeles-based start-up KIND Financial, a “seed to sale” software provider for the cannabis industry, that allows businesses to safety and security handle transactions.

The software will also assist states that permit the medical and recreational use of marijuana, through sales and commerce data ensure their practices fall within the legal realm. While the plant remains federally illegal, five more states will vote on its recreational usage this fall, including California. Sales of legalized marijuana are projected to reach $6.7 billion in 2016, a 24% increase from a year ago, according to industry tracker ArcView Market Research. With further expansion in the coming years, additional corporate players are expected to test the waters of big business marijuana in the near future.

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