A vending machine dispensing marijuana is ready to open for business in Colorado.
The machine, almost identical to a standard automated snack machine, will allow the recreational weed-user to purchase their preferred choice of marijuana around the clock, after the state relaxed its anti-drug laws.
The controversial ZaZZZ machine, manufactured by American Green, was unveiled in Avon, Col., fully stocked with a range of Herbal Elements marijuana.
Stephen Shearin, CEO of the machine's parent company, Tranzbyte, told drugs website The Cannabist (which specialises in Denver and Colorado marijuana news) that the device was "an automated, age-verifying, climate-controlled marijuana dispensing machine."
He added: “I envisioned something like this 20 years ago but didn’t think I’d live to see the end of prohibition against a plant of such great promise.”
Shearin said the vending machine was a demonstration prototype and he was uncertain exactly when it would go into service, but he added that the design had built-in security measures to prevent abuse.
He said: “[The user] would swipe their driver's license, at which point multiple cameras would allow us to use some advanced biometrics to make absolutely certain that the person who swiped the card is the owner of that card.
“I'm a father of a 12-year-old daughter and I wouldn't want her having access to it, so we paid close attention to that.”
Recreational drugs machines like the ZaZZZ were predicted by Bruce Bedrick, CEO of Medbox, a California-based marijuana vending machine for medical use only just last year.
He told the Huffington Post: “'Some people want to see this free-flowing marijuana. They want to go from federal and state ban to marijuana for everybody.
“We don't believe that can happen. In order to gain respect and trust, it's better to go through gradual, medical adoption.”