Since the first modern coin-operated vending machines were introduced in London in the 1880s, it seems it was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to use them to distribute pot.
The ZaZZZ pot vending machine recently debuted at Seattle Caregivers, a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington State, and is now providing cannabis flowers, vaporizer pens, hemp-oil energy drinks and other merchandise to qualified patients. Up until now, the few vending machines in Seattle were only selling edibles.
This cutting edge machine knows to whom it’s selling: it uses a set of cameras and facial recognition software to match the buyer’s face with the ID he or she has presented as proof of medical eligibility. It also has a weight-sensing mat in front of the machine to ensure that the ID and buyer are the same person. For now, however, the machines will only operate under the supervision of a dispensary employee.
Not to be outdone by a human salesperson, the ZaZZZ screen provides in-depth information about the strains of marijuana being sold. And the weed is local – straight from Washington-based growers.
ZaZZZ accepts only cash or bitcoin as the feds don’t allow debit or credit cards to be used in pot-related transactions.
The machines are specially reinforced to make break-ins difficult, according to the manufacturer, the Arizona-based technology company American Green.
So far, there are only a few vending machines in Seattle, but American Green president Stephen Shearin thinks there could be hundreds operating in the coming years. They are hoping to set them up in other venues outside medical marijuana dispensaries as acceptance and awareness of pot products – recreational and medical – continues to grow.