In this April 2, 2014 file photo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures during the keynote address of the Build Conference in San Francisco. Nadella’s style of leadership is already winning praises because he is collegial and humble. That’s in sharp contrast to his predecessor Steve Ballmer, who uses the blustery, rally-the troops approach and is known for his larger-than-life displays of emotion. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

In this April 2, 2014 file photo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures during the keynote address of the Build Conference in San Francisco. AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ 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.

Photo by Rusty Blazenhoff | flickr

Photo by Rusty Blazenhoff | flickr

Microsoft Corp. 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.

 

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