If you live in certain parts of California, you can’t take a stroll around the neighborhood without bumping into a medical marijuana dispensary (there are at least two within walking distance of my house). Some of these dispensaries are sleek and professional--just look at SPARC, the Apple store of marijuana shops--and others are a little shadier. The Autospense medical marijuana vending machine adds an air of legitimacy to even the dingiest storefront.
You can’t just kick this thing repeatedly and expect a bag of marijuana to fall out; the Autospense has a finger-print scanner and requires a registration card (obtainable from the storefront) for after-hours access. According to a press release, the machine "records monetary transactions and manages inventory tracking within a heavily secured framework of cameras, locks, and sensors."
The medical marijuana industry in California is suffering due to a series of government crackdowns. Despite assurances from Autospense that it provides "a safe, legally compliant, legitimate, professional, and accessible means to obtain medical marijuana," these crackdowns are unlikely to stop--and they’ll probably end up hurting Autospense’s business in the end. Still, the idea that 24-hour medical marijuana access is just a vending machine purchase away may be comforting to some.