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Skip the Dispensary With this Futuristic Weed Vending Machine

1 minute Read

Weed vending machines: We knew they were coming. Now you don’t even have to interact with a person to buy your bud. You will, however, need to let a robot scan your fingerprint.

Phoenix-based cannabis tech company American Green has debuted a vending machine prototype, called ZaZZZ, that would sell cannabis to eligible buyers, using a biometric verification system. Customers would need to set up an account using their government-issued identification and medical marijuana doctor’s recommendation. Then upon purchase, the machine would also prompt them to verify their identity with a fingerprint scanner and a facial recognition camera.

While for many medical marijuana patients, a trip to the dispensary can be an educational experience during which they can smell and learn about all the available strains, trekking to a pot shop might be difficult for the elderly or those who have limited mobility from their illness. If they already know what strain works for them, using this machine at a more convenient location, such as a home for the elderly, could save them the trouble of traveling a far distance.

The machine doesn’t only have to be used for cannabis. It can also be used to sell other prescription drugs, alcohol, or other regulated goods. American Green debuted it last month in Las Vegas, thought it’s not yet approved in any green state. It could likely be used in states that allow for the sale of cannabis outside dispensaries, or in places where cannabis delivery programs aren’t set up. And while it may seem like the machine could be a goldmine for burglary, it would look be located in heavily trafficked areas where it would be difficult to get away with breaking into it.

The machine might also make shyer customers more comfortable buying weed, if they’re still afraid of stigma. “This could make individuals who need {cannabis} more comfortable,” says Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “They won’t run into their pastor of kindergarten teacher outside a dispensary.”

ZaZZZ isn’t the only weed vending machine out there, however. In 2015, another American Green cannabis vending machine made news in Seattle, while a Vancouver dispensary debuted a weed vending machine last year. Still, these machines, unlike ZaZZZ, required employees nearby to check the customer’s identification before they could buy anything.

Skip the Dispensary With this Futuristic Weed Vending Machine