Pot vending machines in the works

A California company is preparing for the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington by creating dispensing devices for adults.

By Bruce Kennedy Jan 11, 2013 9:24AM

Credit: Via Medbox, Inc
Caption: Medbox MDS Medicine Storage MachineAmerica may be lagging behind other developed nations in the essential sector of innovative vending machines -- but perhaps not for long.

We may have movie dispensers, but the Japanese have long had street machines that distribute everything from the standard candy, cigarettes and drinks to magazines, clothing, produce, alcohol and fresh-cut flowers.

But have no fear. The U.S. is breaking ground in one area of dispensing devices: the cannabis machine.

The November elections legalized recreational marijuana use in Washington and Colorado. And now a California company has plans to adapt the vending machines it makes for medical marijuana groups so they can eventually be used by the general public.

Medbox (MDBX) marijuana dispensers are kept behind the counter at medical marijuana facilities -- where they can track sales, prevent theft and ensure those facilities comply with local laws. The current version of the machines, according to Medical Daily, "rely on a fingerprint scan that verifies the identity of the patient, which is linked with a prescription kept on file. The company also helps operators become licensed in states that have licensing laws."

Medbox, meanwhile, is preparing its vending machines for the launch of those newborn recreational pot industries in Washington and Colorado.

Washington’s State Liquor Control Board has a December 2013 deadline to set up a licensing system for the manufacture and sale of recreational marijuana -- before cannabis can be legally sold to adults.

Adults in Colorado, meanwhile, will be able to purchase recreational marijuana at licensed establishments starting in 2014. The state has assembled a task force, to come up with municipal, legal and business regulations for recreational marijuana stores.

"One day we envision these machines to be accessed, when it's allowed, 24 hours a day," Vincent Mehdizadeh, the founder of Medbox, told NBC News. "One day in the future that may happen, but for now these machines sit behind the counter as an inventory control and compliance tool."

Washington law will require any recreational marijuana to be sold inside a licensed retail story. A spokesperson for the state’s Liquor Control Board tells Newser that means any cannabis vending machines used by the public could be used inside one of those future stores, but not “on the street corner.”

In the meantime, taking into account that marijuana is still illegal under federal U.S. law, Mebox’s website notes the company "does not engage in the production, sale, or marketing of any products dispensed through our machines."

More on Money Now

Jan 11, 2013 12:32PM
This is stupid. Just legalize it, I should be able to go to my local liquor store and buy a pack of joints. The people have spoken up about this many of times now and our government is not listening. The people are supposed to be the power not the government.

Don't vote these bums out, throw them out on their @sses.
Jan 11, 2013 12:38PM
How do I invest in this company? They will be spread across the country as soon as the rest of the states see the money being raked in by Colorado and Washington. Money talks and BS walks!
Long, long overdue. Once the drug cartels stop paying congress to keep them illegal, we can perhaps move forward past this issue and make it legal everywhere.
Jan 11, 2013 12:33PM
haha nice.  I can't wait to visit Washington or Colorado.
Jan 11, 2013 1:37PM
All you anti-pot people, bend over and grab your ankles.  In 10 years or less it will be legal across the country.  Too much money to be made.  I'm way too smart to think you can make anything illegal and it will go away, but alcohol is what this country should be concerned about. Prescription drugs kill thousands.  Weed is the least of this country's problems! Lets get priorities right.  Nothing harmful about weed so don't talk about what you know nothing about.  Everyone against marijuana has never used it more than once or twice if ever.
Jan 11, 2013 12:50PM
So has the crime rate increased in Washington and Colorado since?   No
Jan 11, 2013 1:24PM
hope there alot of snack machines near by/// MUNCHIES
Jan 11, 2013 1:38PM
Jan 11, 2013 1:06PM
I'm for legalization Now! And I would also like to invest into the marijuana trade!! Start a business in this area before I'm to old to enjoy it!  So tired of our government ignoring the people choice of what they think is right for them!! Why can't we do what we want as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else!! The Doctors in this country keep doing harm to people with there worthless drugs!! Time for a real change!  I still can't figure out why we can't use anything that makes us feel good when there is so much stuff on the market that's does us so much Harm!! Just saying! Oh bye the way i thought that State rights hold more power then Federal rights, that's what i always thought!!!
Jan 11, 2013 1:38PM
Heard about these in Amsterdam and Oakdale/Ca......sounds good...soda's are worse for you than this legal product. Let's move forward.
Jan 11, 2013 2:51PM

I USED to be a daily smoker of pot, from the age of 16 to approx. 34 years old. And then I stopped. I am now 52 years old, and instead of smoking it, I now grow it legally because of the state that I happen to live in, and because I have multiple friends who have been diagnosed with cancer and never smoked pot until they found themselves unable to eat due to their illness. I also have multiple friends who happen to be legal assistants, teachers, artists, musicians, nurses, and the list goes on. They are college educated individuals who work their asses off, have families, nice homes, go to Church and have "a life,"and God forbid happen to smoke pot occasionally.

If people need something to up their appetite (cancer patients),or something to help them relax after work, school, or before bedtime, whatever the hell they smoke pot for-is it really worth the extravagent amount of money being spent to do nothing but make a issue out of a fricking plant that does more good than harm in the world I live in? My God, look at the multiple deaths caused in this country because of drunk driving. And then there's the dreaded cigarette doing its thing by causing cancer and a boat load of other health issues.

I am a loving and caring individual who genuinely cares about the people and the world we live in.
But I have a sincere BITCH about people who don't take the time to read the headline of the article they are reading before pitching their bitch. California is simply doing what any entrepreneurial group of people might choose to do, and in this case, that would be responding to the possible need of a pot machine in the states of COLORADO and WASHINGTON-where recreational pot use is legal now. You have to have a mind smart enough, and the drive to even think about how to go about developing such a item. Sounds like a damn good thing to me versus people wasting their time insulting the entire state of California and the people who live there, because why? Oh, silly me, we're all junkies.

Jan 11, 2013 1:26PM
well its got to have a Sniffing element for real pot smokers lol!
Jan 11, 2013 3:15PM
I'm so sick of people calling drug prohibition "The War on Drugs." Let's call it by it's proper and more accurate name: The War on Personal Freedom.

I do not, nor will I ever, smoke pot. However, I am not the type that pushes his beliefs onto everyone else. I also refuse to eat fast food and meat yet I have never tried to make fast food illegal (and so many people have tried to kill the fast food industry).

We would have far less issues in our country if people just minded their own business. I cannot believe that "issues" like marijuana prohibition and gay marriage are actually even issues. If people would just mind their own business and let people do what they want as long as they aren't hurting anyone else or society in general, then we could move onto actual issues that matter such as the economy, climate change, etc.

Jan 11, 2013 2:21PM
If they are going to legalize it for some it should be for all! I hate the double-standard BS!
Jan 11, 2013 2:05PM

This is for medical mariuana people. you guys spout about this as you pound your beers or eat a fist full of vicoden.

if you cant handle it, dont do it.   just like TV. if you dont like the porn on one channel. change it.

i'm proud to live in a country that gives options.

stop small thinking - End sensorship.....


If your "red", get over it?  Its just a harmless little weed.

Jan 11, 2013 12:45PM
I hope the people that stock these have armed guards!
Jan 11, 2013 2:23PM
That's a great idea putting a munchie machine right next to it!
Jan 11, 2013 2:14PM
How do I get a Job with MEDBOX!  I have the background in 420, electronics,
Who services these machines?
great job !
Jan 11, 2013 4:46PM
I would prefer to go to a mom-and-pop type store and talk about the strains of bud with a human being.
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