Medical Marijuana

Marijuana in Vending Machines Is the American Way


In April American Green, part of the Tranzbyte Corporation, unveiled a marijuana vending machine in Colorado intended for medical cannabis patients. The company plans to install its ZaZZZ vending machine in Herbal Elements, a medical marijuana dispensary in Eagle-Vail, Colorado.

ZaZZZ is out in the open, but allows customers to make their own choices in peace and relative privacy. In order to use the vending machine, customers must first present their IDs and medical marijuana cards at the door of the dispensary and then use an ID verification scanner attached to the vending machine. Tranzbyte COO Stephen Shearin told The Cannabist that the machine "uses the same technology that checks age/ID fraud under the Control Meth Act. Your identity is confirmed against active biometrics."

The ZaZZZ will stock a range of marijuana-related items, including joints and edibles. Herbal Elements owner Greg Honan told Denver's Fox 31 TV that the vending machine will make it easier to track inventory. The vending machine's contents go straight "from our budtender right into the machine," he explained. "There's no room for theft by patients, by employees."

Matthew Feeney ( is an assistant editor at Reason 24/7.

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  1. I saw this and got all excited (ok, not really, but I wanted to) and then read on and saw that this is about as freedom expanding as an ATM machine in a bank lobby.

    Call me when there is one outside the local 7-11.

    1. His name’s Carl, and he’d be happy to transact your little, uh, exchange.

      Well, not happy, but you know Carl.

      1. Anyone foolish enough to sell drugs outside a place that also sells coffee and doughnuts deserves their fate. 🙂

        1. What’s that, riches?

    2. “Call me when there is one outside the local 7-11.”

      Never gonna happen. Whether or not it would be allowed aside, consider the security problems. Damn things would be broken into on an hourly basis.

      1. Damn things would be broken into on an hourly basis.

        Why? Cuz pot smokers are inveterate criminals that would not be able to control themselves and totally disregard the video camera that would capture their behavior and the obvious legal problems that would result from it? Because of course if I owned a pot vending machine I’d be sure to fail to do any research about the crime rates in the neighborhoods that I might want to put it in?

        1. Dude, I’m totally stoned! That was my skull! Let’s break into a weed vending machine! Dave’s not here, man!

        2. There was a debate between The Jacket and Asa Hutchinson a while back, and one of the arguments made for the illegality of drugs was that the people who use/sell/look sideways at drugs are all criminal types.

          Asa actually said, quite clearly, that if they were not busting them for drugs, then they’d be busting them for rape, murder, theft, embezzlement, touching the glass in a jewelry store, what have you. Because anyone willing to use drugs is willing to do all of that, and more.

          So, yes, the government is quite secure in the notion that all people who use drugs are as purely evil as you can get. Each and every one of them murders kittens and eats their flesh while stoned on a mixture of THC, bath salt, and methamphetamine.

        3. Good grief, Dances. No.

          Because you can’t put high value items in a vending machine. Cokes, smokes, candy etc. works, and even that gets stolen. Put higher value items in there and you are begging to be robbed.

          1. I’m thinkin I could build a vending machine that couldn’t be robbed.

            It wouldn’t be cheap…but…

            1. People try ripping off ATMs, without success. It still ruins the machine and damages the fa?ade.

            2. Some shitheads around here, about 10 years ago, used a tow truck to yank atms and pay phones loose and they hauled them away. They cut them open with torches and such.

              “…a vending machine that couldn’t be robbed.”

              No such thing.

          2. But in a sensible world, why would a pack of joints be more valuable/higher cost than a pack of cigs?

            1. Beer costs more than soda. People will pay a premium to catch a buzz.

    3. That 7-11 should be put on the ZaZZZ train to ZaZZZville.

      1. That’s the ZaZZest idea since ZaZZZ came to ZaZZZville.

  2. This is really just the AP-12 in disguise.

    1. I’m pretty sure that makes it entrapment.

      1. When has that stopped the authorities in this Brave New America?

    2. “Dead or alive, you’re ocming with me.”

      1. I’m not ocming with anyone, you damn dirty ape!

  3. I watched one of those FOX “business” shows this morning. At one point there was a lot of hysterical bleating about Colorado legal dope and marijuana edibles. I wasn’t paying attention closely enough to say what initiated it, but somebody did manage to come up with “And there was that guy who KILLED HIS WIFE after he ate a marijuana brownie!”

    We’re not there, yet.

    1. I don’t put stock in any Fox Business show.

      1. I don’t put stock in any Fox Business show.

        And you shouldn’t buy stock based on a Fox Business show, either.

        1. Or Cramer!

      2. Apparently my lame attempt at poking fun at The Independents was lame.

        1. So are the Independents?

    2. No man has ever murdered his wife sober.

      1. You mean she was drunk?

    3. Still waiting for a report about someone getting drunk and killing someone. Oh, sorry. I must have missed that story in the Philadelphia Inquirer on August 10th, 1859.

  4. I’m not ocming with anyone, you damn dirty MECHANICAL ape!

  5. I’ll be sure to put my cupcake vending machine next to it.

    1. I think the real money could be in combo packs. A joint, a 20oz bottle of flavored iced tea, a candy bar, bag of corn chips, and pack of matches for $6.99.

      1. I’m afraid you’ll have to limit the drink to 16oz in NYC locations…

      2. a 20oz bottle of flavored iced tea

        If you’re going to provide that, shouldn’t you include Skittles as well?

        1. Do you want to attract a bunch of white Hispanic wanna-be militia-watchmen?

        2. I bet this post will make Mary’s blog site.

        3. That’s the Skittlebrau vending machine you’re thinking of.

      3. “A joint, a 20oz bottle of flavored iced tea, a candy bar, bag of corn chips, and pack of matches for $6.99.”

        OK, I retract my earlier comment about the likelihood of theft from these machines. Apparently I know zero about pot and the price of it. I guessed it was much more expensive than that.

        1. There’s a wide variety of prices, and it’s difficult at present to determine what the costs of producing it will be because prohibition has totally distorted the situation, but it remains a simple plant, and not one that requires too much work to cultivate.

          Fuck when we were kids we managed to produce a shitload of them accidentally as a result of sitting on an old train bridge and tossing the seeds over the side as we cleaned it.

          You certainly can go gourmet, and a lot of people do, but you don’t have to smoke Purple World-Ending I Can See My Soul in the Mirror Ultra Weed Snob strains to get your buzz on.

        2. Weed is pretty cheap, even the good stuff. It’s partly because I can buy an ounce of weed and have it last me a month or more (I may have my amounts a little off here because I don’t generally buy by weight). But approximately $160 for a nice big bag of weed that lasts two months isn’t expensive. You can go through $160 of booze in a week no problem.

          Weed’s value comes in the different strains, not in generic weed itself, which anyone can grow.

          1. Epi, I can’t remember your age, but the price seems funny to me when I remember my days of smoking herb. A really, really good oz of weed, like Columbian or just some kick ass Mexican herb was like $30. Late on, I remember some of the more potent sinsemilla from Hawaii or local homegrown going for 70-100, but that was tops. Of course, that was 25 years ago, so inflation adjusted, I guess $160 sounds about right. I mean, if I remember correctly, imported beer then was about $5 a 6 pack and now it’s more like $10.

            If I lived in WA and still smoked, I would just grow my own.

            1. From a cost/value perspective, I get a shit-ton of stoned for my $160, so it works out just fine. I’m good with it, the dealer is good with it, everybody’s happy. Which is good because my dealer used to work for Blackwater and probably has more guns than I do, which is saying something.

              As for growing it, I can’t even keep a basil plant alive, so growing isn’t really an option for me. I suppose I could do it out on the deck but I’d rather just pay someone to do it for me, like I do with your mom.

              1. I’m pretty much of a master gardener. I was in my grandparents garden when I was old enough to walk and I learned everything. They weren’t growing any weed, but plants are plants, it’s a skill that you learn.

            2. Inflation is a bitch.

          2. Weed’s value comes in the different strains, not in generic weed itself, which anyone can grow.

            There isn’t much difference as far as general cultivation needs between the various strains. The big difference is in flowering time, some Indica varieties can finish up ( by finishing I mean from bud formation to harvest) in as little as 5 weeks while some Sativas like Thaiweed make take up to 12 weeks to finish. Most indoor growers won’t bother with Sativas and unfortunately the Indicas are dominate, which is the only reason I grow and haven’t bought any in years.

    2. Eh. I’m just waiting for Legalization Day here in FL so I can start my cupcake and/or weed delivery. Just add a $2 delivery fee to the already high prices and the driver will be there shortly. Not out of weed? Call me! Not out of snacks but no smoke? Call me! Need both? Call me! Oh, and everything comes in the same packaging. So your nosy co-workers don’t know if we’re dropping off your after work relaxation or your fuck-the-diet afternoon snack. Just so long as you pay us.

      1. Well, exactly how do you plan on getting weed legalized in FL? 80% of the voters there are over 70 and all they know about weed, they learned from those reefer madness films.

        1. The ballot referendum is going to pass for MMJ, easily. That’s why Bondi and the Republicans fought it so hard. And, another year of $!00M revenues in Colorado and the politcians will be tripping over each other to sponsor legalization bills with pot tax going to the “right” places.

        2. 1964 was 50 years ago. If you were an adventurous 18 year old flower child trying pot for the first time in 1964, you’d be 68 today. Just sayin’. You’re going to see more and more old people smoking weed as time gets on. Which I imagine will so decimate the cool factor that nobody under 30 will touch it again for an entire generation.

  6. And when the product is dispensed and an unexplained flash goes off, don’t forget to smile for the NSA.

    1. The National Stoners Association is mostly benign.

  7. The thing that takes bills will always be broken, so you’ll have people going into stores and being like, ‘Can i get $50 worth of quarters?’

    1. +1 bag of chips.

  8. These will be popular in Seattle. Kiss your jobs goodbye dispensary clerks.

    1. I’m certain those socially-conscious Seattleites won’t mind paying the markup to subsidize their $15/hr clerks.

  9. These will never be available in Murika, for recreational use. How do I know? When’s the last time that you saw a beer vending machine in the mall, or outside a super market?

    I have heard that they have such things in Europe, but I’ve never been there to see one. But I do know that in some other countries that I have been to, they don’t have a puritan freak out attitude about the possibility of minors consuming alcohol, like we do here in the land of the freest free people in all da murl.

    1. When’s the last time that you saw a beer vending machine in the mall, or outside a super market?

      I used to have one in the hall right outside of my apartment in Germany. You could buy a bottle of Jack Daniels at the local gas station, walk outside, open it up and start drinking it as you walked down the street. It’s no wonder that Germany is the violent, unproductive wasteland that it is today.

      1. Sadly, Louisiana appears to be the closest state to civilized in this regard.

        1. We have drive through liquor stores. And drive through daiquiri huts. For the daiquiris they leave the top half of the straw wrapper on so that it does not count as an open container.

          1. Those aren’t new, by any means. When I was still living in the Ohio, back in the 80s, we had drive throughs that were basically pole barns, and you just drove your pickup truck in and loaded up the bed with beer, paid the kid on duty, and drove out the other door.

        2. You can say that again. On a recent trip thru Louisiana, I was shocked to see a little mom and pop store sign that said, “Produce and Spirits.” To be able to buy liquor at the local Winn Dixie just blows my mind.

          On a related note, this same road trip took me to Shiner, Texas. Not only did they have a gas station with booths and draft Shiner Bock, but I actually had a draft Shiner Bock in a freakin gift shop! This was not the norm in Texas, of course. I hit two bars in Rockport and neither of them offered drafts — just bottles and cans.

          1. You sound like you’re from PA.

            We still have “to go cups“.

            1. “If you have to leave a party early, always take a traveler.”

            2. Florida. I remember in the 80s in Jacksonville that you could go through the Jax Liquors drive through and they’d give you a cup of ice with your (unopened) liquor purchase.

            3. From your link:
              But spurred by the high-profile death of a highway patrolman at the hands of an intoxicated driver, Montana’s Old West drinking and driving culture is retreating.

              In other words, drinking and driving and civilian deaths are all fun and games until an LEO gets killed……

              1. Meh.

                I haven’t seen any change (that article was 2010). It’s a matter of population density. Not enough people to raise enough revenue to put enough cops in this much empty space to be able to enforce it.

                Besides, I don’t really think the majority is much interested in really changing.

                I know many here don’t believe this, but..

                Less people = more freedom

        3. NV is pretty good on booze as well.

      2. Yeah, if they could just learn the puritan ways of Murika, and keep that evil alcohol out of site of the childins, then maybe they could sober up as a society and learn to make cars like we do it here.

    2. These will never be available in Murika

      It certainly will. Soon after the establishment of libertopia.

    3. “Hyperion|6.8.14 @ 3:47PM|#

      When’s the last time that you saw a beer vending machine..

      Tulane University, 1994

      I wept with joy. it was a symbol of a kind of human freedom i had always dreamed of. I was like an immigrant witnessing the statue of liberty for the first time.

      Then i realized i had no change.

      1. CHANGE?! It gave you a beer for CHANGE?!

    4. I was thinking the same thing. I’m frankly kind of stupefied they got regulatory approval for this. Unless they don’t require regulatory approval for it, which would stupefy me even more. Teh childrunz!! and all that.

  10. they don’t have a puritan freak out attitude about the possibility of minors consuming alcohol, like we do here in the land of the freest free people in all da murl.

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact, you hippy.

    1. The Constitution is not a suicide pact, you hippy.

      Yeah, but it’s like 100 years old anyway and no one really can understand what it says any more, so you’ll have to convince me in a more modern and progressive way. Something to do with social justice and saving the planet.

  11. OT:

    An Israeli, a Palestinian, and the Pope walk into a room


    Abbas said people are inclined to peace.

    “We ask you, Lord, for peace in the Holy Land, Palestine and Jerusalem,” he said, according to a CNN translator. “Together with its people, we call on you to make Palestine and Jerusalem, in particular, a secure land for all believers, a place of prayer and worship.”

    That’s wasn’t “praying for peace”, that was asking Allah to grant him victory.

    And the rubes fall for it everytime.

      1. “Pope Frances?”

        Like Pope Joan?

        1. Wow, this Pope Frances isn’t just referenced in the headline, she’s mentioned throughout the article.

          Then in the last paragraph they mention Pope Francis.

          I guess the secret’s out, then!

          1. (T slur)!

  12. I only stopped here to make sure Futurama was correctly referenced..
    I am dissapoint

  13. OT =

    Women push back against suggestion that they’re making ‘too big a deal about shit’ by MAKING WAY TOO BIG A DEAL ABOUT SHIT IN HASHTAG FORM


    “It doesn’t matter if the perpetrators are outliers; the point is that the victims are the opposite?everywoman.

    Rape apology, a phrase I use here to describe ideas that minimize the impact and reach of rape culture, is an easy trap to fall into if you’re not careful. Dangerous messages since childhood and wrongheaded lessons keep us confused. Rape apology help us make sense of the ugly persistence of sexual violence in this country and elsewhere. Denial is a natural response to a world in which 1 in 5 women and 1 in 6 men experience sexual violence.”

    Meanwhile, #rape is down 50% from 1990.

      1. Sounds like a Dutch name.

        1. That is actually the Norse translation of STEVE SMITH.

  14. I’d like to build some fake ones and set them around town just to see some heads explode.

  15. of marijuana-related items, including joints and

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