PlainView Systems Launches Medical Marijuana Marketplace - InformationWeek
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9/9/2009
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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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PlainView Systems Launches Medical Marijuana Marketplace

It's a long way from Cheech & Chong. PlainView Systems launched its Compassionate Care Marketplace, a secure system to allow suppliers of medical marijuana to buy weed, with full accounting of the transaction for state and municipal compliance.

It's a long way from Cheech & Chong. PlainView Systems launched its Compassionate Care Marketplace, a secure system to allow suppliers of medical marijuana to buy weed, with full accounting of the transaction for state and municipal compliance.The medical marijuana market is $2 billion in California, "but services are lacking to help legitimize and support businesses in this industry, Until now, the medical marijuana community has been challenged by inconsistent supply channels, untraceable cash transactions, complex compliance issues and loss of state and municipal revenue streams. PlainView was created to solve each of these challenges," PlainView said in a statement announcing the service on Tuesday.

The marketplace allows providers to manage prescriptions, billing and transaction records, and other extensive data management capabilities. It integrates with popular accounting software, generates tax forms, and sets reminders of important state and local tax dates.

Although people snicker and smirk at medical marijuana (and I just contributed to the problem, didn't I?), it's a legitimate medical tool for pain and appetite management and other uses--at least in the state of California--and the PlainView system is designed to treat it that way:

Although undoubtedly a disappointment to some, Plainview CEO John Lee cautions, "This is not an eBay for weed."

Given the ever-changing nature medical marijuana laws in the Golden State, Lee claims PlainView will give both growers and outlets "complete compliance and transparency" in regards to local and state laws. For example, California Proposition 215, which made medical marijuana legal, permits a licensed individual to have a minimum of six pot plants, but Sonoma county allows up to 31 plants.

The software is designed to reduce the cash-oriented nature of the medical marijuana business today, which makes it more difficult for the government to oversee the market. The system only accepts credit cards, electronic bank transfers, and is working on PayPal support. It's a subscription-based service starting at $240 for six months, $300 for a full year, with a 45 fee also applied with each transaction.

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