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It looks like cannabis vending machines are coming to California


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Thor Benson / Cannabis News Box Contributor

Cannabis vending machines for social use cannabis are coming to California, according to High Times. The first one is already in place at Berkeley Patients Group, which is a popular dispensary in the Bay Area. It’s made by Grasshopper Kiosks, and it’s likely many more are coming.

What’s the point of these machines? Essentially, they make things easier for the customer and the business owner. No longer will long lines at dispensaries be so much of a problem.

Lindel Creed, vice president of the automated sales and development at American Green, thinks it’s a little misleading to refer to them as “vending machines.”

“It’s a lot more than just a vending machine,” he told Cannabis News Box. He said American Green’s machines can check identification, save people’s profiles and educate them on the products available. It’s not like you’re just pressing A1 and putting in some cash and getting some cannabis dispensed.

Creed says convenience is one of the main reason cannabis users should embrace these machines.

“It’s the express lane for the dispensary,” Creed said.

He said you might want to have a conversation with the bud tender the first time you go to a dispensary so you can figure out what products you like, but after that you might just want to come in and get what you know you need. Once you know what you want at that dispensary, you can just go to the machine and get it without waiting for a bud tender to become available.

Furthermore, American Green machines have detailed information on what each strain does and the effects you can expect. Creed says because you don’t always know how knowledgable a bud tender may be, it’s nice to have reliable information that’s available on these devices.

“People selling these products [often] aren’t educated themselves,” he said.

One of the bittersweet aspects of these machines is how they impact the job market. Creed explains that business owners may want to buy these machines because they’ll be cheaper than hiring more bud tenders in the long run, which would be good for the business owner but not so good for people who want to find employment within the cannabis industry.

“If you look a the machine costs versus hiring an extra employee, it’s cheaper than an extra employee, and it’s part of a business expense you can write off,” Creed said.

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