The ZaZZZ, America’s First Pot Machine

Keeping vending green… in a different way.

It didn’t take long for the vending industry to capitalise on the legalisation of marijuana. Colorado, the first US state to officially decriminalise the drug, has just seen the introduction of an over-the-counter pot-dispensing vending machine.

The ZaZZZ, as it’s called, is believed to be the first of its kind. Manufactured by American Green (name choice deliberate, we can only assume), the ZaZZZ has been made available to all licensed marijuana-dispensing stores within the state.

It’s a revolutionary machine, and not because it lawfully vends a drug still illegal across most of the world. The ZaZZZ features the latest in climate-control refrigeration to keep its herbs fresh, a touchscreen LCD display, and biometric technology to prevent the sale of its contents to underage patrons. The machine also boasts automated reporting tools for purchase logging and tracking software for government-mandated inventory control.

ZaZZZ Vending Machine

According to Greg Patrick, a spokesman for American Green, the machine is “like a miniature little Fort Knox”.

To actually use the ZaZZZ, customers have to swipe their medical marijuana card and driver’s license. The machine then uses its internal camera to compare the customer’s biometrics with those stored on the swiped identification. If the data matches, the customer can create an account and complete their purchase (by cash or bitcoin payment). American Green is also looking into retina and fingerprint identification technology for later models.

The aim of the machine is to limit the chance of product theft and to speed up dispensing times. “You can be in and out – literally – in a matter of minutes,” said Patrick. While the machine won’t be placed in the streets or other public areas just yet, it has proved to be a success at the participating dispensaries.

In the words of Stephen Shearin, president and COO of American Green:

“It’s historic, there’s just no other way to state it,” said Stephen Shearin, president and COO of American Green. “We saw the repeal of prohibition in the early 20th century and the mark that made on our country and the companies that did it right. We’re in that stage. This will only happen once in our country’s history, the repeal of this prohibition.”

Watch a news report on the ZaZZZ in action below.