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Got a Quarter for a Quarter

I often question the need for statements like “adult-use” recreational marijuana. My instant reaction is who is promoting for children with developing mind and hormones to recreationally consume cannabis? However, yes we do need to make such distinctions as the “market” may determine such common sense distinctions.

Marijuana Business Daily, mjbizdaily.com reports “new cannabis vending machines are hitting the market”. Of course, I am having an emotional reaction. Naturally when one actually reads the article it will make sense. Got a quarter for a quarter? Mjbizdaily.com reports in theory these stores can reduce dispensary wait times and will be years before we see them in the market.

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The market faces challenges such as technical challenges that integrate point of sale systems and of course “regulations that favor oversight of cannabis transactions”. Mjbizdaily.com also reports the focus may be rural areas for medical dispensing, but the cost effectiveness is not feasible in current projections.

In Canada, a president of a cannabis company was quoted as saying eventually the market will see how these machines will provide a “low-cost way to service legal cannabis in all corners of the country”. Of course it must be “legal” cannabis as the CEO stated. That distinction is important to make!

For now the Cannabis Act generally prohibits selling marijuana through self service dispensing devices as Mjbizdaily.comreports. However, in the meantime such machines are being used to distribute scheduled opioids. The aforementioned CEO went on to state “we have been demonstrating success with a more high risk substances and with a more vulnerable population that demonstrates this technology is secure enough to distribute cannabis Mjbizdaily.com reports.

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The editor of vending times, Elliot Maras, was quoted as saying “modern technology can verify IDs and accept cash, but those functions make the machines more complex and expensive”. Many are calling for direct oversight of the machines by human monitoring. Matt Frost, CEO of a Boston based cannabis vending machine reminds us “the market isn’t necessary calling for that capability”. The article went on to discuss market concerns for building an efficient machine, but not a tamper proof or one that verifies age/identity.

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