Cannabis vending machines are not new to Colorado. In 2014 the state of Colorado established legislation for vending machines that sold only edibles for medical use only. Seattle followed up with vending machines for medical patients only offering flower buds. Patients with a valid medical card and a driver’s license could complete the transaction inside a medical dispensary with an employee’s help.
Back in 2020, Boston-based anna developed an AI-powered order fulfillment and retail automation cannabis vending machine. The first operational recreational cannabis vending machine in Colorado was located at Star Buds Recreational Marijuana Dispensary 14655 E. Arapahoe Rd., Aurora. It didn’t last too long due to compliance issues and the machine was removed from the dispensary.
A new cannabis vending machine has been developed by the Colorado cannabis company Terrapin and is called the ACE, Automated Cannabis Experience and is fully operational at the company’s Aurora-based dispensary located at 11091 E. Mississippi Ave., near East Mississippi Avenue and South Havana Street.
The ACE, was developed in partnership with Canadian vending machine company BMC Universal Technologies, and is the first totally-automated cannabis vending machine on the market to package, live label, and dispense cannabis products in compliance with all Colorado cannabis requirements. The ACE machine is integrated with Metrc, the MED Marijuana Inventory Tracking System, Colorado’s seed-to-sale marijuana tracking system, which makes it compliant with state and municipal regulations.
The benefits to consumes includes faster checkouts while providing instructions in multiple languages. The ACE also adds an automated layer of safeguards to human verification that ensures only those legally allowed to consume cannabis are purchasing those products.
Customers scan and verify their identification card, follow the instructions on the digital screen and check out, customers pay using cash – the machine does not currently accept debit cards. Customers can watch the bagging process through a 38-by-30-inch window. The ACE holds up to 1,152 products, depending on the size of product packaging.
Terrapin Care Station plans to install additional ACE machines at its five other locations throughout Colorado. The company’s long-term goal is to sell the technology to other retailers throughout the state and country.