Cannabis vending machines: A promising addition to the flourishing industry?

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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In an attempt to tackle the long queues that sometimes spill out of dispensary doors, cannabis vending machine technology is slowly permeating the legal pot space.

Industry speculators see this innovative type of technology an integral component of the growing legal cannabis industry, which is predicted to pull in $146 billion on a global scale by the year 2025.

So, could cannabis vending machines be the future of cannabis retail? Well, despite the support for vending machine technology, technical glitches have been experienced by the vast majority of retailers who have been daring enough to implement them.

“The goal of the vending machine was convenience. Software updates, which were under development, are necessary to deliver the speed of transaction we were looking for,” said Brett Friel, the marketing director at a Santa Cruz-based dispensary called KindPeoples.

His company attempted to introduce cannabis vending machine technology from an unnamed company. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out and Friel was forced to get rid of it.

Cannabis vending machines could be successful if “bugs” are fixed

In spite of his bad experience, Friel is still hopeful that cannabis vending machine technology will be successful, so long as the issues are worked out. Unsatisfactory experiences with this type of technology is usually focused on “bugs” that cause glitches and errors, such as providing the customer with the incorrect change and failing to dispense the product.

Friel thinks that kiosks will be a welcome addition to cannabis conferences, events, and festivals, particularly where cannabis retailers are offering products such as THC-infused edibles and pre-rolled joints.“You put the machines in environments like festivals, where you don’t have a full dispensary but you do have a legal cannabis consumption site,” Friel suggested.

Greenbox Robotics employs the use of cannabis vending machines

Retailers are beginning to pay closer attention to the potential of using cannabis vending machines in their licensed spaces. This is according to the CEO of Greenbox Robotics, Zack Johnson. His company is headquartered in Los Angeles, where weed is legal for recreational use. This month, Greenbox Robotics will unleash its machines onto California’s cannabis industry.

“Interest has been incredible,” he stated.“We make it simple for customers to purchase cannabis products and are bringing the cannabis industry into the digital age,” the company’s website states.

Providing customers with a 2-3 minute transaction time and an insightful view into a range of quality products, the Greenbox Robotics cannabis vending machine promises to facilitate faster transactions.

Machine features are as follows:

  • “Eye in the Sky” Camera – Facial Recognition
  • Streaming Music Capabilities
  • Robotic Arm
  • Product Window (Shatter Proof Glass)
  • Customer Guided Interface
  • Payment Processing
  • Delivery Bay
  • Swing-up Door for Easy Restock
  • Conveyer – Add to Cart Functionality
  • Temperature Controlled Storage

Greenbox Robotics’ cannabis vending machine instantly starts communicating with a customer when it senses them walking past. Data collection features help the retailer to better understand consumer purchase history. Furthermore, the company claims that retailers can save on overhead costs since budtender services will no longer be required once the vending technology is installed onsite.

Learn more about the cannabis vending machine from Greenbox Robiotics by watching the video below: