— Herbal Elements (@HerbalColorado) April 12, 2014
Happily last night in Avon, Colorado, a giant green machine was wheeled onto the patio of Montana's Smokehouse to prepare for the official unveiling of Colorado's first weed vending machine this afternoon. Not yet in use, but in the first stages of excitement-stirring, the ZaZZZ machine will provide the masses with edibles at ease in the near future.
The catch is that only licensed medical marijuana cardholders can access the edibles within, and a valid ID will be scanned and verified. But barring that, the green goodies will flow. As American Green founder Stephen Shearin put it,
"Many people could look at this and say that's just a vending machine, and they'd be right but mostly wrong."
That's some knowledge right there. Shearin also told The Cannabist that the machine will be "great for shy folk."
As was covered in the Huffington Post last June, weed vending machines have taken hold in California, but only within medical dispensaries behind counters where "only budtenders have access to them." The ZaZZZ machine will be readily accessible by customers themselves.
Bruce Bedrick, CEO of Medbox, another weed vending machine company that has been operating as part of the niche market in California, told HuffPo:
"Some people want to see this free-flowing marijuana. They want to go from federal and state ban to marijuana for everybody. We don't believe that can happen. In order to gain respect and trust, it's better to go through gradual, medical adoption."
Less than a year later, and barely six months since weed legalization in Colorado, and Bedrick's comments are burning out.