A Phoenix-based company is hoping to make the idea of marijuana vending machines into a reality. Endexx Corp. envisions transactions where customers will use an app on an iPhone to purchase an ounce of weed, go to a retail outlet to pick it up and then use a touch screen vending machine to complete the order.
“The way we see it, when you walk into a shop, you don’t need the expert or aficionado to help with selection,” said Endexx CEO Todd Davis. “The people who are using this in the recreational space — they know what they want, and they don’t want to hear the whole spiel every time.”
Endexx bought two smaller firms that provide vending machines to medical marijuana outlets. Dispense Labs makes a card reader that is used to help dole out measured portions of cannabis. CannCan has created a modified soda machine that dispenses plastic cans full of marijuana, The Huffington Post reported.
Retail sale of marijuana is expected to begin in Colorado by January 2014 and Washington State is expected to follow suit soon thereafter. Davis said he expects his company to be one of perhaps three major players manufacturing marijuana vending machines.
“It’s like a gold rush,” Davis said. “Once significant investment capital comes to the market, who knows?”
One of his competitors is Medbox. The company’s CEO, Bruce Bedrick, is sometimes referred to as “the Steve Jobs of medical marijuana dispensing,” because of his strong business skills and quick temper.
“We’re the only patented game in town,” Bedrick said. “I’m not concerned necessarily about competition, generally speaking.”
Bedrick’s company is still focusing on creating machines for medical marijuana as opposed to the recreational variety.
“Some people want to see this free-flowing marijuana,” Bedrick said, “They want to go from federal and state ban to marijuana for everybody. We don’t believe that can happen. In order to gain respect and trust, it’s better to go through gradual, medical adoption.”