A bill to ban marijuana from being sold in vending machines and drive through windows was unanimously approved by the Washington state Senate on Monday.
According to Sen. Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor), this legislation aims to prevent edible marijuana products from being sold at public events commonly attended by children, such as football games, as well as to keep them out of parks and coffee shop drive-through windows. Therefore, this bill would effectively restrict where recreational marijuana can be sold, limiting sales to in state-licensed retailers.
Although this legislation bans marijuana vending machines from being placed in public spaces, it appears as though they can continue to be used inside state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries at this time. This is good news for the producers of the Zazzz marijuana vending machines (photo below) which were just launched in Seattle in early February 2015.
On the same day, senators passed another bill with a 45-3 vote that allows for the creation of a marijuana research license. This legislation aims to establish a way for researchers at the University of Washington and Washington State University to have access to cannabis in order to study the effects of the plant.
photo credit: MSN
A new chapter for the marijuana history books has been penned in Seattle with the launching of the first vending machine able to dispense cannabis flowers. Although vending machines filled only with marijuana edibles and snacks were launched in Colorado last year, this is the first in the United States to dispense dried buds. The new line of machines, called ZaZZZ, are being installed in medical cannabis dispensaries in Washington.
Greg Patrick, ZaZZZ representative shared his excitement about the launch with NBC.
“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.”
“We’re in that stage. This will only happen once in our country’s history, the repeal of this prohibition.”
Having these machines located inside a medical marijuana retailer ensure that identification and age are verified twice. IDs or driver’s licenses are presented to dispensary staff, usually before entering the facility, along with registered medical marijuana patient identification. IDs must also be swiped by the ZaZZZ machine before the cannabis flowers will be dispensed, creating a system of double verification.
The vending machines have a modern design with a user-friendly touchscreen for consumers to use for more than just purchasing marijuana. This vending machine also provides literature about each available strain and it’s recommended medical uses to aid buyers in the decision making process. But wait! There is more. Consumers can also play video games on the ZaZZZ machines.
Due to federal regulations, customers must pay either in cash or in the electronic currency, Bitcoin, as the use of credit or debit cards to purchase marijuana is currently prohibited.
The company behind the vending machine hopes that it will be one attractive alternative to those who would like to purchase products without having to wait in line.
ZaZZZ vending machines have been installed in Washington and will be available to the Colorado recreational marijuana market. For now, American Green has had to make partnerships with in-state growers because medical marijuana products cannot legally be shipped or carried across state lines under federal laws.
The company is hoping that, as acceptance of marijuana grows around the nation, it will be able to expand its reach into other states. Unlike some other vending machines, like those that dispense snacks, ZaZZZ does not have a glass window panel that could be easily broken. This machine stores the merchandise inside a secured compartment that is similar to what ATM machines use to secure money, thus providing a deterrent against theft. This machine is so sterdy, in fact, that Patrick described it as, “a little Fort Knox.”
Image Credit: MSN, NBC