The Bitcoin Accepting, Biometric ID Checking Cannabis Vending Machine
In cannabis news…
Marijuana vending machines have long been rumored to debut en masse in certain US states, but the first machine that can be accessed directly by consumers was finally unveiled at an invite-only event in Colorado last week.
Billed as the first marijuana vending machine in America, the ZaZZZ unit is perhaps more accurately described as the first machine that will not be placed behind a sales counter. It offers a number of novel compliance features, including a driver’s license reader and a camera that captures video of users.
ZaZZZ machines also have another notable feature: they accept only a limited number of payment options including the ZaZZZ Card, cash, and perhaps most notably, bitcoin.
Biometric ID capabilities
Gotta verify your age and possibly your medical marijuana government approval…
The Cannabist: How does it correctly check the identity of the user to the ID he or she is using? Does it also check medical marijuana licenses?
Stephen Shearin: It uses the same technology that checks age/ID fraud under the Control Meth Act. Your identity is confirmed against active biometrics. The machine on display this weekend will not be taking medical cards, but we are prepared to integrate. That’s part of the ensuing time for testing in a controlled environment before full public release. With that said, people will be authorized in medical facilities before entry. Hence, internal checks will only bolster security and accounting for state and dispensary alike.
The Cannabist: This area of direct-access vending machines in the marijuana space is a controversial one. What kind of reaction are you and Herbal Elements getting from the community, the police, the state?
Stephen Shearin: Understandable concerns of course. In no way do we see versions 1, 2 or 3 sitting in a public square. It may never and that’s not what the business was built on per se. On the contrary, we believe that the process will enhance legal sales facilities in ensuring that controlled substances (so far as we can control at the time of sale) are dispensed solely into the hands of those who qualify legally — let alone proprietary biometrics that are yet to come.
How long until the automated process is hooked into a database of those on a government naughty list?