Marijuana vending machine opens in Washington state - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Marijuana vending machine opens in Washington state

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SEATTLE, Wash. - Washington state is making marijuana history. The first vending machines to dispense marijuana flower buds debuted this week in Seattle.

The machines, called ZaZZZ, are being placed in medical pot dispensaries. A spokesman for American Green, the company that makes ZaZZZ, says having the machines inside dispensaries helps to verify the customer's age and identity since medical marijuana cards are required to enter the centers. 

Though vending machines appeared for the first time in Colorado last year, they only sold edibles, or cannabis-infused foods, and not the plant's flower buds that are so often associated with smoking pot. 

The machines have a touchscreen where buyers can make orders, play video games and read medical information about the products. They swipe their medical marijuana IDs or driver's licenses to make sure they can legally purchase the goods and must pay in cash or bitcoin since the federal government doesn't allow debit or credit cards to be used in the sale of marijuana. 

Like machines that dispense soda or snacks, ZaZZZ intends to speed up the distribution for those who don't want to wait in a line at the dispensary. 

ZaZZZ vending machines in Colorado and Washington state, where legal recreational weed sales began last year, can dispense flower buds. But for the time being, American Green has to partner with growers in those states since the Tempe, Arizona-based firm - like others - can't ship medical marijuana product across state lines under federal laws. 

Ultimately, American Green hopes to take the machines to other venues outside medical marijuana dispensaries as acceptance and awareness of the products grows. The company said the machine - which doesn't have a glass window that could be broken into - is secure against would-be thieves.

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