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April 15, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Pot vending machines may be allowed in new stores

The ZaZZZ machine in Avon, Colorado is the first public, automated vending machine that dispenses marijuana for patients. The machine uses biometrics to verify customers.  (Photo by EPA/American Green)

The ZaZZZ machine in Avon, Colorado is the first public, automated vending machine that dispenses marijuana for patients. The machine uses biometrics to verify customers. (Photo by EPA/American Green)

Pot vending machines may be coming to Washington’s pot stores.

They’re apparently rolling into Colorado, or at least into one Colorado shop.

The Denver Post reported that an “automated, age-verifying climate-controlled” vending machine is being installed inside a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary.

Washington state is considering allowing such machines in its recreational pot shops, according to Randy Simmons, deputy director of the state Liquor Control Board, the agency implementing our legal pot law.

“At first blush, it seems feasible that they could be used in a licensed retail store, but I would need more internal discussion to say yes for sure,” Simmons said.

“I think it would be workable, basically the customer is simply bypassing the cash register,” Simmons continued in an email. “They can’t get access to the product unless they purchase it, it is prepackaged, and only the retailer feeds the machine.  Seems like a viable option.  Will let you know as we discuss further.”

Having a vending machine inside a store – where you can buy all kinds of pot products from budtenders – seems to defeat the purpose.

But the machine in Colorado is being touted in our increasingly self-service society as convenient for customers who don’t want to wait in lines, and for those who are particularly shy.

Comments | More in Government, Health | Topics: Initiative 502, liquor control board, marijuana

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