Trade Bitcoins for Cannabis as Colorado gets its first Legal Marijuana Vending Machine

Last year we saw the fall of Silkroad – an online marketplace that operated as a TOR hidden service, and enabled people from anywhere in the world to purchases illegal drugs, ammunition, guns and all sorts of things. On 17th April 2014, Arizona based startup American Green unveiled a legal vending machine for dispensing marijuana and THC-laden products in Colorado, that will also allow payment via Bitcoin. Ironic isn’t it? Anyway the news follows USA’s increasing acceptance of cannabis for medicinal use which is now legal in 20 states. Colorado and Washington are the only two states that the herb has been legalized for recreational purposes too.

Colorado projected $578 Mn a year in combined wholesale and retail revenue from marijuana sales, according to a Bloomberg. Well this is definitely a positive move with regards to improvement in adoption and acceptance of the virtual currency.

  • Herbal Elements outlet in Eagle Vail, Colorado is the first to obtain the Marijuana Vending Machine.
  • The Automated Marijuana Vending Machine called Zazzz, utilizes radio frequency identification technology (RFID).
  • It checks the users' driver's licenses to ensure the product is only distributed to legally qualified individuals.
  • Advanced biometrics is utilized to confirm the identity/age of the person trying to purchase from the vending machine.
  • The device basically reports all activity to Altitude Organix medical centre in real time ensuring that purchases are monitored in real time.

'We're looking forward to using the Zazz machine to easily track all this inventory ... we're going to eliminate the middle man,' said Greg Honan, Owner of Herbal Elements. 'It'll go straight from the bud-tender right into our machine. There's no room for theft by patients, employees ... there's no way to lose track of the inventory.' Zazzz will see competition from companies such as Endexx and Medbox once the marijuana distribution technology gets rolling. These firms too aim to capitalize an untapped potential in the automated marijuana distribution industry.

The company has been at work for the past year identifying and working with a vending machine manufacturer that has the technological background and capability to exclusively deliver the Altitude Organix 'Green Machine' -- designed specifically to serve the exploding cannabis industry in the 21st Century,' states their website. The firm seeks to eventually roll out one of the vending machines in every state where the law allows it. They intend to launch a free iPhone and Android app that will enable users pre-order cannabis from the machine.

Unless you've been away on another planet for the past several years, you couldn't help but notice that the politics surrounding the use of cannabis-related products in the US for medical and adult use is shifting toward acceptance on the condition that the herb is regulated and taxed,' Tranzbyte President, David Gwyther told afp. The revenue obtained via marijuana sales in Colorado are slated to be utilized for school construction and treatment of deterring young people who are using the drug. School districts are likely to get $40 Mn or approximately 30% from the projected $134 million to be generated from marijuana tax system.

Marijuana has been legal for purchase by adults in the states of Colorado and Washington D.C for nearly a year now. However, due to the ‘Illegal’ status of Marijuana as considered by the Government of U.S dispensaries that are operating in Colorado have been unable to accept federally backed credit cards. This move to enable payments via Bitcoin could bypass the needs for central banks itself due to the extremely low transaction costs, and ease of use.