It’s easy to get swallowed up by the hyperbole monster when talking about the cannabis industry. After all, just about every development is either a “first” or the “largest.” But last week’s announcement by Microsoft that it is jumping on the ‘green’ bandwagon could be looked back upon as one of the most important developments in this industry, EVER.
The good geek folks (geek is a compliment in the tech industry) in Redmond, Washington are partnering with a company that develops software that tracks “seed to sale” development of cannabis plants. So a public company, one of the world’s biggest brands, is saying that cannabis is a legitimate industry to be profited from no differently than Merck, Pfizer, Boeing, Starbucks, Molson Coors and Coca Cola. And, Microsoft is implicitly saying that if the Fortune 500 companies that are its clients don’t like that they (Microsoft) are now in the cannabis industry, tough. Other recent examples of the status quo legitimizing cannabis were last year when the New York Times ran an ad for Leafly, and just this past April when General Mills took out 4/20-themed billboards to sell its Totino’s Pizza Rolls. But those were one-off things. This Microsoft deal is an ongoing enterprise that stands to impact business in 25+ states.
There’s an old expression from the Watergate days, for those born after 1982. Follow the money. The answers to most of America’s greatest riddles and conspiracies can usually be found hiding behind a dollar sign, and who’s making it. This is a great case in point.