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Marijuana from a Vending Machine? Believe it, Dude

Dispense Labs uses thumb scanning vending machines to track medical marijuana purchases.

You can buy a lot from a vending machine. Umbrellas, eggs, pizzas and more can be found inside the convenience of a cash-swallowing machine.

But schedule I drugs?

It's not as crazy as it sounds, says Joe DeRobbio, founder of Aliso Viejo-based Dispense Labs. His company has taken a design meant for industrial tools and applied it to the needs of marijuana dispensaries, he told the Orange County Register.

And now an outside investor has taken an interest. DeRobbio told the Register he expects his company's pending acquisition by Endexx Corp. to be completed Friday. Endexx is a publicly traded company from Cave Creek, Ariz. that bought another marijuana vending machine firm, CannCan, in April.

How it Works


The machines identify patients by scanning their thumbs and medical marijuana cards. Once identified, a customer uses a touch-screen monitor to select a purchase from nearly 800 individual marijuana compartments.

Then the machine's custom software tracks what's purchased, who purchased it, when and how often. That creates a paper trail that could help dispensaries stay on the right side of the law, DeRobbio said.

To further protect dispensaries, the machines are encased in steel, he told the Register.

Future Plans


DeRobbio currently has five machines built, and says he has orders coming from California and other western states, including Colorado, Washington and Arizona.

The machines play into Endexx's plan to become a hub of medical marijuana technology with the end goal of becoming "one of the key companies in the sustainability and growth of the Medical Marijuana Industry," according to a recent press release.

While Endexx CEO Todd Davis acknowledges the legal challenges facing the industry currently, he says he wants his company in the ready position if the federal government reclassifies marijuana.

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