The first marijuana vending machines have landed at the Strawberry Fields dispensary in central Pueblo, Colorado this month.
The machines, which are made by a company called Anna, is what company CEO Matt Frost calls a “tricked out vending machine.” They are designed to take and fill orders for marijuana products and customers can now purchase flower, edibles and vape oils without having to interact with a budtender. They’ll debut at a second dispensary, Starbuds in Aurora later this year.
“There are experienced cannabis customers who don’t necessarily need that one-on-one interaction with a budtender. They know what they want before they walk in, they’re ready to go in and out. By doing this we’re giving more time back to the people who do need hand holding and want that education from a live person,” Frost said. “With COVID and social distancing and contactless, definitely we have an appeal there, as well.”
Anna set up four vending machines inside Strawberry Fields, so customers still need to show identification and check in to use them. Each machine displays a digital version of the menu on a 27-inch touch screen where patrons can fill their virtual basket and pay with cash or a debit card. Anna then dispenses the items.
Frost says he is also eying the CBD market and has said, “The partnership that we’re about to strike I have to keep under wraps for now, but [it’s] a very significant CBD distribution opportunity that we’re excited about. I think you’ll be seeing this rollout absolutely in the fall.”