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It was a rocky start to the year for Chris Violas, CEO of a growing software startup that services the cannabis industry. Violas got the kind of news that no one really wants to hear: Their payment processor, Stripe, had dumped them.

That meant they couldn't get paid.

"We're not selling weed over here, we're selling software," said Violas, CEO and co-founder of Newport Beach-based BLAZE. "But it's because people keep track of all their weed in our software" that "they wiped their hands."

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