The sight of vending machines outside of storefronts is fairly commonplace throughout North America. However, some located in parts of Canada are certainly extraordinary for the sole reason that they're actually marijuana vending machines. The first Canadian one was installed in Vancouver a few weeks ago, but they've also coming to America.
As of April 1, the Canadian government unveiled new regulations that will eventually mean small growers and distributors of marijuana will be replaced with commercial vendors. There are currently approximately 30,000 small-time marijuana vendors in Canada. If the new regulations work as planned, there will be fewer places from which to obtain marijuana, but the respective stores will be bigger.
However, some people who've made their livelihoods around marijuana refuse to be deterred so easily, particularly in British Columbia. That's where about 400 retailers and distributors are located, and they're not overly concerned about the ramifications of having marijuana vending machines, or distributing the drug in any other way.
According to an article from the New York Daily News, even police in the area have admitted that while medical marijuana vending machines are not legal, they're also not a top priority of the region's drug task force. As you might expect, the professionals there are more concerned with reprimanding individuals who use or give out harder drugs like cocaine and heroin, and striking down drug traffickers who participate in violent crimes.
The British Columbia Pain Society is a dispensary that relies on the marijuana vending machines to spur business. However, getting access is not as simple as putting in the necessary amount of money and pushing a button. Rather, patrons have to show proof that they have a condition which requires what's in one of the marijuana vending machines. This document has to be signed by a physician or naturopath. Also, people who want to partake of the fare inside the marijuana vending machines have to be at least 19 years of age.
Marijuana vending machines have also been installed in Colorado. However, one key difference with those is that unlike the Canadian versions, the machines in Colorado take a person's identification card for verification purposes before dispensing the drug.
In Canada, anyone who uses one of the medical marijuana vending machines does not have to reveal his or her identify, and the owner of the British Colombia Pain Society says having the drug dispensed in that format cuts down on theft. What do you think? Could you see yourself enjoying some of the products contained inside of marijuana vending machines?
[Image Credit: Toke of the Town]