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Tacoma's cloudPWR is digitizing the way medical marijuana cards are issued

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Potential medical marijuana cardholders, welcome to the 21st century. Thanks to Tacoma-based cloudPWR, the registry form for medical marijuana consumers will move from paper to digital come July 1, when state regulations for medical marijuana patients and stores are set to take effect.

"Our objective is to transform the interaction between the customer and government — make it a more fluid transaction," cloudPWR CEO and President Shadrach White told The Olympian's Craig Sailor last week.

cloudPWR, which also created Airlift, a platform used by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board that simplifies the application process for cannabis producers, processors and retailers, beat out two Virginia-based companies for a five-year, $2.4 million contract from the state Department of Health in November.

cloudPWR's newest form will be used to enter a medical marijuana patient into the database and issue them a card.

The process of obtaining a medical marijuana card begins when a patient receives a signed authorization from their health care provider, who can be an allopathic physician, osteopathic physician, naturopathic physician, medical doctor or advanced registered nurse practitioner.

The person then takes this authorization to a medical marijuana retailer. An employee will enter the patient's information into the database using cloudPWR's form and issue the patient a medical marijuana card.

This process happens once a year, and the card can be used at any medical marijuana shop in Washington.

Though new medical marijuana cards won't be issued until July 1, potential cardholders can get authorization from their health care provider now. Cardholders qualify for some tax breaks and are able to purchase larger quantities of cannabis.

The new cards will feature a photo of the patient, and White says cloudPWR is working with Decatur Industries, a Seattle-based card security firm, to add other security features.

"It will have security aspects that will make it hard to duplicate," White says.

Following the success of the Airlift platform in cutting down the application process time for cannabis processors, producers and retailers from several weeks to a matter of minutes, and the streamlining that cloudPWR's newest form is expected to bring to the medical marijuana card application process, White is itching to get the platform into the hands of medical marijuana stores in other states that have legalized marijuana.

"We need to take this process and go national," he says. ♦

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