"States must lay tech foundation for cannabis growth"

As public demand drives more states and localities to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, the lack of standardization about licensing, tracking and tracing, and registering buyers and sellers is creating complexity.

“There is no cookie cutter that can be used in this,” said Greg Felix, vice president of strategic solutions sales at Accela, a cloud solutions provider. “Jurisdictions need to stay one step ahead and be much more sophisticated than was required, say, five to seven years ago.”

Most states begin their cannabis legalization with medical use, which means they first set up a system – ideally, automated – to handle licensing businesses, registering approved consumers and tracking and tracing supply. Approval for adult use often follows, Felix said, but that relies on a separate set of requirements. Agencies need to think ahead and have a scalable system ready.

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