American Green, a marijuana vending machine operator has made history in Seattle, with the first marijuana bud dispensing vending machine. The new vending machines, called ZaZZZ, are currently only available at medical cannabis establishments and take bitcoin as payment. According to Greg Patrick, spokesman for American Green, only verified customers who possess government issued medical marijuana cards, are allowed to purchase products from the new vending machines. Cannabis vending machines are not new, in the state of Colorado, prior vending machine models could only dispense cannabis-infused edible products, not the plant’s bud. Greg Patrick is very enthusiastic about the future of marijuana in Seattle, “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”, said Patrick.
The new machines are equipped with a touch screens that allow buyers to browse inventory, and get up to speed on details about certain products and their benefits. The ZaZZZ machines also provide a temperature controlled environment to maintain product freshness and quality. Potential buyers must prove their eligibility by swiping their medical marijuana IDs or other government issued IDs, such as a driver’s license. The vending machines are restricted to taking only cash and bitcoin payments, due to the federal government’s stance on the sale of marijuana.
Recreational marijuana is currently only legal in Washington and Colorado, and this complicates the restocking of the vending machines. American Green, based in Tempe, Arizona, can not transport marijuana across state lines, and had to partner with local growers in Colorado and Washington, to keep the machines operational. The ZaZZZ vending machines are constructed very well and do not have any fragile parts that can be easily broken, and should be immune to break-ins from petty thieves.
“That machine is like a miniature little Fort Knox,” – Greg Patrick
The federal government still classifies marijuana as a controlled substance and as a result most banking institutions do not want to provide services to marijuana related businesses, for fear of prosecution. Bitcoin is currently providing a financial lifeline to cannabis businesses such as American Green. Even Satoshi Nakamoto would not have seen this coming.
Image Source: http://www.americangreen.com