The next-generation of vending machines is one of the many new frontiers Bitcoin is entering as it slowly becomes more mainstream. This is embodied in the newest, and somewhat historical vending machine to hit the market. The first vending machines to legally dispense marijuana flower buds debuted in the state Oregon Tuesday in Seattle.
The ZaZZZ machines, as they’re called, are being placed in registered medical pot dispensaries in select areas. This is necessary to verify the cannabis customer’s age, and identity since medical marijuana cards are required to enter the centers. Colorado is famous for legalizing marijuana as a state first, but machines there sold only cannabis-laced foods, and not the plant’s flower buds that are associated with the actual smoking of the plant.
“It’s historic; there’s just no other way to state it. We saw the repeal of prohibition in the early 20th century and the mark that made on our country and the companies that did it right,” Patrick said. “We’re in that stage. This will only happen once in our country’s history, the repeal of this prohibition.”
Also read: Why Bitcoin will Transform Traditional Vending Machines
The ZaZZZ machines work through a touchscreen interface, and allow users to get medical information about the products, play video games, and place their orders. They have to swipe their state ID or medical marijuana ID, to make sure they can legally purchase the goods. They then choose a method of payment, which is where Bitcoin becomes very handy. They can only pay in cash or Bitcoin since the federal government doesn’t allow debit or credit cards to be used in the sale of marijuana. The machine presents you with a QR code that your smartphone can process the transaction with through your mobile bitcoin wallet.
“This is an exciting time in Seattle’s cannabis community and is representative of what can happen anywhere — laws permitting,” President of American Green Stephen Shearin, said in a statement. “ZaZZZ will simplify, track, and expedite the process in which marijuana users purchase their favorite products.”
If you’ve ever been to a medical marijuana dispensary lab, lines can be long. So long that this is spawning a new industry through the vending machines. Like machines that dispense soda or snacks, ZaZZZ intends to speed up the purchasing process for those who don’t want to wait in long lines at the dispensary.
“Once you swipe your ID, you can go shopping on the screen,” Patrick said. “You can be in and out — — in a matter of minutes.”
In Colorado and Washington state, it has been legal to buy recreational weed products since last year, and for this reason ZaZZZ machines can dispense flower buds. Similar legislation has also passed regarding the sale of cannabis in Oregon and Alaska, as well. The rub is the company that distributes the vending machines, American Green, has to establish new, local partnerships with in-state marijuana growers, as they cannot ship marijuana products legally across state lines.
The machines are designed to protect against theft, as they do not have glass windows in the front. American Green is looking to expand beyond the dispensary labs and into other public venues in these renegade states as interest grows.
Images provided by Wikimedia.commons
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