Pot Vending Machine Is a 1st, but Is It Legal? - Legal Grounds
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Pot Vending Machine Is a 1st, but Is It Legal?

First there was a cupcake vending machine. Now there's a pot vending machine, but is it legal?

Now that marijuana is legalized in Colorado for people 21 and over, a vending machine will be installed in a few medical pot dispensaries in the state to allow users to get their weed on-the-go, according to The Cannabist.

So will the vending machine run into any legal problems?

How Does it Work?

In 2012, Colorado residents voted to legalize marijuana, so it's not surprising that new inventions which help people get pot have sprung up.

ZaZZZ, the pot vending machine, is described as an "an automated, age-verifying, climate-controlled marijuana dispensing machine." According to Stephen Shearin, the COO of Tranzbyte, the parent company of ZaZZZ's manufacturer, buyers will swipe their IDs, and the machine will confirm the user's identity.

Shearin told The Cannabist that the marijuana vending machine will utilize the same active biometrics technology used under the Control Meth Act to confirm the buyer's identity. So minors should forget trying to use a fake ID on the pot vending machine.

Is It Legal?

So far, ZaZZZ's creators seem to be taking all the necessary precautions to avoid legal trouble. The vending machine claims to have the technology needed to weed out underage users. In fact, the machine will be inside a pot dispensary where employees already check ID -- making it even less likely that a minor can access it.

It's unclear how much marijuana will be sold through the machine, but Colorado limits residents to purchasing one ounce at a licensed store and out-of-staters can only purchase a quarter ounce.

However, one problem might be distinguishing recreational users from medicinal users. Right now, ZaZZZ can only read state ID cards and not medical marijuana cards, according to The Cannabist. In Colorado, persons age 18 and older who have qualified medical illnesses can get a medical marijuana card from their doctor. So while ZaZZZ will debut in a medical marijuana dispensary, only medical marijuana users over the age of 21 will be able to use the machine. 18 year olds with medical marijuana cards may just have to order at the counter.

As of now, the pot vending machine is in a "trial" phase at a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Avon, Colorado called Herbal Elements -- just in time for 4/20.

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