Technology / Marijuana

What You Should Know About the World's First Direct-to-Stoner Marijuana Vending Machine, Man

Former West Coast Editor
3 min read

It the ultimate stoner’s dream. Scoring pot -- and sweet, sweet pot-filled Scooby snacks -- from a vending machine. Now that highest of high dreams is about to come true in where else but Colorado, the first state in the union to legalize recreational marijuana sales and use.

The only buzzkill is that it’s not ready quite yet for public use. Potheads will have to wait just a little longer to get their hands on American Green’s Tranzbyte Corporation-built ZaZZZ machine, which its makers claim is the world’s first automated, age-verifying, direct-to-stoner marijuana dispenser. Sorry, dudes, it can’t officially dish out the goods until American Green is satisfied that it’s up to regulatory snuff.

The high-tech weed machine, which sells directly to consumers unlike Medbox and Endexx’s offerings, was officially christened last Saturday at Montana’s Smokehouse in Avon, Colo. The fittingly emerald- and chartreuse-colored, climate-controlled dispenser arrived yesterday at its final destination five minutes down the road in Eagle-Vail, Colo. at Herbal Elements medical pot dispensary.  

Related: 5 Surprising Realities of Legal Weed

Parents of curious tweens and teens, you can breathe a collective sigh of relief now. Not just anyone can score mind-bending buds and treats from the green machine.

ZaZZZ users will have to provide a valid medical marijuana card and a valid government-issued photo ID, both of which will reportedly be checked at multiple points during each transaction.

"I'm a father of a 12-year-old daughter and I wouldn't want her having access to it, so we paid close attention to that," American Green COO Stephen Shearin said in a video showcasing the machine.

Related: Colorado's Legal Marijuana Business is on Fire

Shearin told Ricardo Baca of The Cannabist pot enthusiast blog that the machine “uses the same technology that checks age/ID fraud under the Control Meth Act,” and that users’ identities will be “confirmed against active biometrics.” Exactly what those biometrics identifiers are isn’t completely clear, though we do know it involves multiple cameras that likely rely on facial recognition software.    

American Green plans roll out more ZaZZZ dispensers in the future, which will only be available at licensed pot dispensaries, not just anywhere in public (thank goodness).

What stony sweets will the magic machine impart? THC-infused indica and sativa Blue Kudu Chocolate bars to start, with a variety of other edibles to follow, according to Herbal Elements owner Greg Honan, who seems really, really stoked about his new in-store helper. Each ZaZZ item will be tracked via radio frequency ID (RFID) chips for better inventory tracking, he said.

Related: High Hopes and Blunt Truths For the $2.3 Billion Legal Marijuana Market


By Javier Hasse
From retailers to growers, producers, and suppliers, there’s a seemingly never-ending list of startup opportunities in this emerging market. In Start Your Own Cannabis Business, marijuana, biotech, and entrepreneurship reporter Javier Hasse introduces forward-thinking entrepreneurs like you to the industry and shares hard-earned tips and success stories from pioneers and visionaries in the marijuana industry.
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