Only in Colorado ...
Meet anna, a “tricked out vending machine” that's the brainchild of Matt Frost, founder and CEO. Four vending machines are now set up at Strawberry Fields dispensary in Pueblo. You can purchase a variety of cannabis products, including flower, vape oils, and edibles, and can be done without ever having to interact with another human!
Patience is a virtue...but why wait for weed?— anna (@annakiosks) June 9, 2020
Coming this month to @strwbrryfldsmj Pueblo-Central location and @starbuds_co Arapahoe location!#cannabisbusiness #retailautomation #artificialintelligence #cannabiscommunity #colorado #pueblocolorado #auroracolorado pic.twitter.com/G2Wf8oNMx2
Customers still need to show proper identification to purchase weed at the machines—proper identification must be shown to get in the dispensary anyway. The machines have a large 27-inch display with a touch screen that allows customers to pick what they want and check out virtually with cash or a debit card. The purchases are then distributed through the machine.
Preordering is also available through anna.
“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.”
More of the vending machines are set to be installed in Aurora at the Starbuds dispensary.
Frost is hoping to get a concept for a CBD vending machine approved to be placed in gas stations and retail stores, along with more of the anna vending machines, across the country.
We can see the appeal to a grab-and-go type of buying experience for those who want it. Despite weed being legal in Colorado, not everyone wants to wait in along line when they know what they want, and being discreet has value for many.
Colorado has another weed vending machine that's been around since 2014; the Zazz machine is located in the Herbal Elements dispensary in Avon. This machine requires users to swipe their driver's license and uses cameras to confirm the identity of the person using the machine.
What do you think about a weed vending machine? Should there be more of them in the state? Let us know what you think in the comments.