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New Colorado Marijuana Vending Machines Will Accept Bitcoin

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by Konstantin Lazarev · 3 min read
New Colorado Marijuana Vending Machines Will Accept Bitcoin
Created by a Tranzbyte-owned company called American Green, the machine is being called the “ZaZZZ” and is very similar to the automated express checkout machines in grocery stores. Photo: Herbal Elements/Twitter

Colorado is making the most of the state’s recent legalization of cannabis by introducing the world’s first marijuana vending machines.

The rumors about marijuana vending machines have been going around for quite some time in certain US states. Finally on 12th April,  the first vending machine that sells marijuana was presented to consumers during the invite-only event  in Colorado.

A Colorado company has introduced the first marijuana vending machine that makes it easier for buyers to purchase the drug. Similar vending machines have existed behind the counter in dispensaries before, but this is the first marijuana vending machine that customers can use on their own.

ZaZZZ machines, produced by American Green, have a number of features such as driving license reader and a camera that captures the video of the purchasers. Moreover, the machine accepts only a limited number of payments such as ZaZZZ cards, cards and virtual currency – bitcoin.

Stephen Shearin, COO of American Green, commented why bitcoin was chosen to be one of the payment methods for vending machines. He explained: “It’s quick, it’s efficient, it’s trackable.”

How it works

First of all, ZaZZZ machines are appealing to consumers who needs to make purchases quickly or who might feel shy about buying marijuana in a dispensary store.

The machine is pretty advanced, it can scan your ID to check if you are the right person and a right age, it also regulates the temperature inside and has an advanced system that can keep track of all the transactions made.

After the selection of the order the customers can choose the payment method. Then if you choose to pay with bitcoins the ZaZZZ machine produces a QR code which can be scanned with your smartphone. Once the machine accepts the bitcoins the transaction is completed and you can take your product.

Shearin said: “The transaction system is exactly like [using your] bitcoin wallet to pay anywhere else.”

Why bitcoin

Since the Amendment 20 in 2000 medical marijuana has been legalized in Colorado State. The new policy in 2012 allowed all adults (21 years old) to purchase marijuana in the state.

Some observers see that marijuana faces same legal obstacles as bitcoin.

Shearin mentioned that bitcoins allows dispensaries to do their business more efficient, saying: “Providing a payment facility that has a super-low cost to it, like bitcoin, is an effective way to provide these guys – dispensaries and dispensary owners – with a means of doing their business that is more efficient than other facilities that charge a higher fee.”

Shearin stated that the movement toward the digital currency as well as its low transaction fees became the reason to implement bitcoin as a payment for marijuana vending machines.

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Konstantin Lazarev
Co-Founder & CIO Konstantin Lazarev

Konstantin has always been at the forefront of the global virtual currency scene since first discovering cryptocurrencies the same year that Satoshi Nakomoto created bitcoin in 2009. Konstantin is the owner of a number of small businesses in trucking and mobile development, and co-founded CoinSpeaker in 2014. He graduated from Belarusian State University in 2009 with a degree in Mathematics and Mechanics. You can contact Konstantin via [email protected]

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