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NIC Acquires Marijuana Permitting Platform Complia

The acquisition expands NIC’s dozens of tailored licensing services to include the burgeoning cannabis industry, which contends with differing regulations at the federal, state and local level.

With marijuana legalized for medical use in 33 states and recreational use in 10, digital government software giant NIC Inc. is stepping up its cannabis permitting game.

According to a news release this week, NIC has acquired Complia, a Denver-based platform exclusively for regulating cannabis and hemp industries. Founded in 2015, Complia facilitates business licensing, patient and caregiver registration and employee credentialing. The company has four state government contracts and counts more than 142,000 applications through its portal to date. By acquiring Complia, NIC enters competition with Accela, whose cannabis-licensing platform won high-profile contracts with the state of California and the city and county of Denver in recent years.

While NIC already provides a custom cannabis regulatory system for the state of Oregon and an enterprise licensing platform for the state of Illinois, Complia’s cloud-based, configurable platform is a way to serve some of NIC’s 6,000 other government customers by integrating with NIC’s payment-processing system, as well as third-party seed-to-sale tracking systems.

“The Complia technology platform is extremely scalable, and NIC will be able to expand its capabilities to provide licensing for other highly regulated industries,” said NIC CEO Harry Herington in a statement.

The news release said the acquisition will retain Complia’s contracts and employees, including the company’s three founders: Alex Valvassori will become an NIC general manager, Harikrishnan Gopalakrishna will be a senior director of technology, and Ramesh Babu will serve as a director of operations.