This upcoming weekend is jam-packed with events. Not only is there Easter Sunday, but Hitler’s Birthday on the date 4-20. 4-20 is the date that pot smokers “light up”, it is not a true national holiday like those on calendars but is celebrated nationwide.
This year will be especially celebrated but marijuana smokers in Colorado because of their semi-recent legalization of medical (2000) and recreational marijuana (2012).
A company by the name of American Green in Colorado has come up with a new development just in time for the holidays, a machine that revolutionizes the attainment of products with THC inside. Yeah that’s right, marijuana filled snacks sold in vending machines.
Don’t get too excited yet, the newly unveiled machines, called ZaZZZ, are for medical marijuana sales only. It would be hard to find one, as there are only a handful being placed in Colorado currently.
Colorado’s medical marijuana laws passed back in 2000. Then back in late 2012, when recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, people 21 years of age and over could then grow a small amount of marijuana in their own homes and also carry a few ounces at a time. Since Colorado’s 64th amendment which allowed this was passed, there has been plenty of news coverage for the state. This year they added regulations and laws that allowed cannabis stores to open and sell their product in early 2014.
To monitor the sales in the vending machines, the buyer must scan their ID for medical marijuana before they can select a product. This system was created to prevent the product from falling into just anybody’s hands. By that I mean you won’t be able to just pick up a cannabis energy drink and THC infused beef jerky when you are feeling a bit peckish. While the climate-controlled machines are a pioneering step for Colorado’s booming marijuana industry, it feels more like a publicity stunt. The flashy unveiling party in Avon, Colorado on Saturday the 12th only supports this.
ZaZZZ machines do cut out the middleman when it comes to distribution of product to customers, but what is the point of over hyping it? In reality the machines are nothing new because there have been machines similar to these behind the counters in cannabis stores. The only difference with the ZaZZZ machines is that they are in public and unsupervised locations.
Even with the requirement of a medical marijuana ID scan there is the possibility of people who are under age to get ahold of the substance. There are no measures to prevent people who do have an ID card from using them then giving the products to people under age.
American Green is advertising the machines for both shorter lines in cannabis stores and the more reclusive user. The more “shy” people with a medical marijuana card are more likely to be people who don’t want to seem like the stereotypical user of the drug. To be perceived as a drug user is not considered a positive thing in this day and age.
The company American Green is in a way using these “innovative” vending machines to makes “shy” users lives easier but they are also just using them for that “wow” factor. It seems to be working too. Making a splash on sites like Facebook and Twitter with excited onlookers from the unveiling party in Avon who spread photos of the vending machines. Next came news sites like the Huffington Post and NPR who covered the story with a tone of amusement.
Even if the family get togethers are made awkward by the use of marijuana from the vending machine down the street, at least the rest of the United States will be entertained. So here is to hoping Colorado makes more interesting news.