Despite the fact that California has one of the largest marijuana markets in the U.S., a lot of work has to be done to regulate the industry. Many big-money companies strive to take part in the process.
Just like with the pharmaceuticals, the cannabis industry also has to develop an effective system for the government to track the product. In other states with legalized weed, similar protocols have already been adopted and are successfully functioning. In Colorado, for example, plants are tracked from their grow rooms to the dispensaries. It is done with the help of Radio-Frequency Identification chips. This process helps the government record all plants and make sure that all of them are sold legally and according to the code.
California has to adapt its own tracking devices for the product soon. This is mostly needed to ensure that the companies work as legal businesses and not drug dealers. Next month, the state opens a bidding for the companies that want to sell California a platform for tracking weed.
One of the companies hunting the contract is Kind Financial, which is based in LA. The CEO of the company, David Dinenberg, claims that their track and trace systems that basically overlook the product from seed to sale can show the state what really happens on a second-to-second basis.
Last June, Kind Financial began its partnership with Microsoft, which added credibility to their claim. Microsoft agreed to market the software to state governments. Besides, the participation of a company of this scale means that true mainstream giants are comfortable to contribute to the cannabis industry when it becomes legal. Besides, supplying ancillary products and services is less legally risky than working with plants directly. To secure its position, Microsoft agreed to market the Agrisoft software only to government regulators and refused to deal with companies that manufacture marijuana directly. This precaution proved to be relevant after the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as the attorney general. The man's anti-cannabis position makes many entrepreneurs nervous about the future of the industry.
It was revealed that the state government spared $50 million for cannabis regulation. A decent part of the funding will pay for the tracking system. A company that wins the contract will have a strong base for development.
The regulation of the marijuana industry is still a new thing that has its own contradictions and failures. Earlier this month, the Colorado tracking system failed. The company responsible for the equipment had a major outage. According to the company, it was a direct attack on the system. It will take a few weeks to restore the data. Some information is possibly lost forever.
California once had in mind the adoption of the Canadian model of self-reporting the data, but the state's market is considerably larger, and such system will not be effective.