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Move over potato chips and chocolate candy bars! The future of marijuana now offers Massachusetts and Colorado contactless marijuana vending machines.

The Boston based company, anna, first debuted at Strawberry Fields Dispensary in Pueblo, Colorado. CEO and Founder of anna, Matt Frost, describes the “tricked out vending machines” offering flowers, edibles, and vape oils all without much interaction.

“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.”

A background in data analytics, Frost created the system after recognizing the long wait times and some requirements of scheduled pick-ups at dispensaries and the fear of contracting Covid-19. “It’s about getting customers through faster with less contact,” Frost told Masslive.com.

Using anna is quite simple. The 8 square foot machine features over 2,000 products to cater to each customer’s requirement. Each customer can preorder on the anna app or check-in and select items for their virtual basket; each machine takes cash or debit. After making selections, anna dispenses, and customers can choose, wholly contactless, and fast. The legal age and payment require approval from dispensary agents before processing.

“You likely won’t find any snacks in these vending machines — just weed,” said Frost. Also suggesting anna machines selling non-psychoactive cannabis products in gas stations and retail stores soon. Anna is not the first vending machine to help with seamless customer interaction, Zazz Machine was introduced in 2014 to check customer IDs at a dispensary in Avon, CO

Anna is set to debut in Massachusetts in September. Since the legalization of retail marijuana sales in November 2018, Massachusetts dispensaries have already made around 320 million dollars. While companies are excited about the idea, is it uncertain how it will affect the recent unionizations throughout the state.

In a statement by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW):

“The legal cannabis industry is a newly regulated market that can offer local communities jobs with strong wages and benefits that can’t be outsourced.”

As for the future of anna, Frost suggests this is only the beginning. “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,”

The next dispensary planned for anna vending machines is Starbuds in Aurora, Colorado, for later this year.

Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older.

Nikki Frias VIA https://www.forbes.com/sites/nikkifrias/2020/08/18/the-future-of-dispensaries-means-contactless-marijuana-vending-machines-for-colorado-and-massachusetts/#5846fcca557009

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