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Pot vending machines? Naturally.

Company promises new public vending machines for pot; it’s not as “out there” as it seems, considering what else is out there

By Christine L. Chen Jan 8, 2013 7:08PM

Way back in the day, I was a freshman at U.C. Berkeley, wide-eyed and witnessing demonstrations of all kinds in the name of personal freedom. Those included Condom Day, which involved the distribution of helium-filled condoms on strings, turning the whole campus into a sort of surreal, outdoor, safe-sex party-decoration store. There was also Pot Day. I think I cruised by it, late for poetry class or something, but I mostly missed that one. The stories of Pot Day, though -- how much, how many, and how easy -- were all over campus afterward.

Soon, in Washington and Colorado, where recreational marijuana is now legal, pot could become as easy to come by as a handout on Pot Day or a bag of chips out of a vending machine. The California company that makes the machines currently dispensing medical marijuana, MedBox, is hustling to modify its machines to sell pot to recreational users.

While this might seem outrageous to many, it’s actually a natural next step. Because marijuana is now just another product for sale in Washington and Colorado, vending machines are just a way to sell it. They’re well on their way to becoming the convenience stores of tomorrow.

All of us have bought a beverage from a vending machine. But did you know that new types of vending machines in the U.S. dish out products ranging from $3 MooBella Make-Your-Own Ice Cream to $250 Dr. Dre Beats headsets and $300 Pucci scarves? (I have to say that that machine stopped me in my tracks in Brooklyn one day.)

Yet, our vending culture is actually lagging in a global comparison. During a trip Tokyo in 2009, I delighted in all the things you could get in a vending machine: Cosmetics, beer, health products, lobsters and eggs are all available. There’s a vending machine for Smart Cars. Yes, cars. In Dubai, they literally set the gold standard for vending, selling 1-, 5- and 10-gram gold bars as well as gold coins in various weights.

Will MedBox strike gold by giving consumers pot in a vending machine? It’s already happening: The company’s stock soared after the elections in November but has since stabilized to well over the pre-election price.

I wonder if people seeking non-medical marijuana in Washington and Colorado will take to trusting vending machines for their cannabis needs past the initial novelty. I’ll be eager to see if the vending companies create an end-to-end experience, putting pot and snacks all in one machine. If that happens, what might seem as unusual as an old-school Pot Day protest might become a modern-day, one-stop shopping trip.

More on Healthy Living:
Medical marijuana dispensaries don’t boost local crime: study
Got the Munchies? What legalizing marijuana might do to our heal



Jan 14, 2013 11:41AM
please god make it legal and in vending machines across the country. 
Jan 14, 2013 4:10PM
If you put pot and junk food in the same vending machine, how could you possibly keep it resupplied?
Jan 14, 2013 1:02PM

camon let legalize in all states recreational use of pot.



Jan 14, 2013 3:55PM

Those vending machines better have the security of Fort Knox because someone will attempt to break into to them nightly !!!


Jan 14, 2013 3:36PM
Won't happen because there would be no way to confirm the buyer is of age....that's why cigarette machines have disappeared....
Jan 14, 2013 6:13PM

All we are saying... is give peace a chance.


All we are saying...is give pot a chance. 

Jan 14, 2013 5:59PM
It won't happen, how many vending machines do you see that sell beer?
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