Think of it as the rise of the machines – but in a helpful way.
CBD is increasingly becoming available in vending machines around the nation. The units make
purchasing more convenient even as they comply with local regulations.
For instance, in July, Jonesboro, GA-based Genesis Boutique & CBD announced a partnership with Green Box Robotics and – in cooperation with popular local shopping center Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville, GA -- the installation of a CBD vending machine. The move provides public access to CBD products selected by Genesis in a popular, well-trafficked community space.
The CBD market is “constantly changing and highly competitive,” the company said in announcing the move. “One of the most challenging but also crucial pieces to being successful in this market is strong marketing and brand awareness."
Genesis Boutique & CBD says it is focused on “helping customers find relaxation, relief from acute and chronic pains or aches, and better sleep through the benefits of high-quality CBD products.” With a wide range of products designed to promote wellness, calm, and a sense of health, Genesis offers customers an opportunity to feel their best “without experiencing psychoactive side effects.”
AFTER A DREAM
The idea has caught on.
Forbes recently ran a piece titled CBD From A Vending Machine? Manufacturers Face Opportunities And Challenges In Growing Industry. It quoted Andre Addison, the owner and President of Canaboxx, as saying that the Covid pandemic had created a greater need for no-contact sales and social distancing. “He imagines a world where such vending machines will be on every street corner once all 50 states have deregulated marijuana usage.”
Austin, TX-based CBD vending company Greenbox recently installed a new CBD kiosk on the edge of an auto repair lot on a well-traveled stretch of South Congress. Greenbox had already set up machines elsewhere in the city.
Entrepreneur John Elmore told Axios he began his vending machine venture after he had a dream he was at a machine purchasing cannabis. He is currently looking to franchise his machines. Interestingly, Elmore, who owns a brick-and-mortar retail location, launched a CBD-by-drone initiative during the early phase of the pandemic. He ran, or rather flew, into a snag when he learned that as per FAA regulations, he could fly products only from a customer's mailbox to their front door.
In 2019, PharmaXtracts debuted a CBD vending machine in Cedar Falls, IA. The variety of products range in price from $22 to $275, all of them without THC, the chemical that gets people high, the company said. Purchasers have to be 18 or older to buy from the machine, and prove their age by scanning their driver’s license. The machine also has a camera to help the company track user demographics.
Back in 2020, techcrunch.com told the story of cannabis becoming available from vending machines in select California dispensaries. Made by California-based Greenstop, the selfserve kiosks can simultaneously serve four customers while still conforming to local regulations.
Greenstop calls it the Smart Dispensary, and thinks of the kiosks as “the self-service checkout lane at a grocery store,” the report said. “In this case, a clerk or a budtender oversees the operation by granting access after checking IDs and assisting customers when needed. By having this clerk as part of the process, dispensaries conform to regulations and can employ these kiosks as part of their operation.”
In April of last year, One Step Vending, Corp., which had previously signed agreements to place automated dispensaries of cannabis-derived products in convenience stores, said it was customizing and preparing to install 10 vending machines in the Las Vegas area, according to a release.
"As we move forward with the implementation of our business plan and our placed agreements, we believe that Las Vegas is an explosive market for CBD products, and our vending machines are the perfect means to facilitate the sale of such products in public and private store places," said Ronald Minsky, President of the company. "Our vision is to initiate a much broader expansion for the near future and grow our network."
The cannabis retail innovators at Pueblo, CO-based hardware company Anna announced a year ago the launch of their “fast, efficient and highly-compliant” self-checkout solution for Colorado dispensaries.
“The retail technology available to dispensaries has inhibited the cannabis industry's path to normalization,” executives said in a statement. “In many traditional retail industries, self-checkout transactions are standard.”
Designed to meet specific industry needs, the hardware is akin to the self-checkout section at a local grocer, the firm noted, “but with several high-tech benefits, including Anna’s integration with existing retailer technologies, contactless payment and dispensing, and streamlined transactions through the Anna.app.”
Customers can browse in-store using Anna’s touchscreen interface or utilize online ordering by scanning their QR code upon arrival, keeping the checkout process to under a minute. Anna’s proprietary rules engine, modeled after advanced health and life science analytics engines, is able to distribute THC and CBD products in a compliant manner in licensed retail environments across the globe, the company explained. It incorporates fulfillment rules, regulations and compliance standards “down to the most granular level of local jurisdictions and municipalities.”