Coming Soon to a Dispensary Near You: A Marijuana Vending Machine (UPDATE)S

An Aliso Viejo, California-based company is looking to revolutionize the world of medical cannabis with an ultra-secure pot dispensing system — a marijuana vending machine.

Dispense Labs plans to lease the machines to dispensaries so they can offer round-the-clock convenience to a customer base that's far more likely to do its pot shopping at night.

The so-called Autospense will be placed behind a vending cage accessible — like the machines themselves — only with a valid registration card. Fingerprint authentication provides additional security, and closed-circuit cameras, locks, and strict record keeping are relied upon to prevent machine tampering.

"Of course you want to make sure all your members are safe," said Lera Nastri, managing director of The Dispensary Store in Santa Ana where the only live Autospense is currently set up. "The priority is for our members to have access to their medication."

UPDATE: Medbox, a company which says it invented a marijuana dispensing machine over five years ago, ordered Dispense Labs to cease and desist claims that its machine is the "first of its kind." Also, the Santa Ana dispensary mentioned above has since been shut down for operating illegally.

[photos via The OC Register]