Customers skip dispensary lines with 'smart' marijuana vending machine in Los Angeles

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Dubbed as "the world's first intelligent cannabis & CBD kiosks," greenbox is located at Erba Collective and Marina Caregivers dispensaries in Los Angeles. (Photo credit: FOX 11) 

A Southern California company is leading the way with a new innovation that makes getting marijuana and CBD products faster and more convenient.

Dubbed as "the world's first intelligent cannabis & CBD kiosks," greenbox is located at Erba Collective and Marina Caregivers dispensaries in Los Angeles.

It caters to both recreational and medicinal users.

Zach Johnson, CEO of greenbox Robotics, says he came up with the idea while waiting in a long line at Erba Collective. He and his team spent more than a year developing the fully-automated technology. 

"You're already sitting in traffic in LA. You want to come in, grab your product and be on your way," Johnson said.

Customers can pick from categories at the vending machine, including cannabis flower, edibles, extracts, CBD products and accessories.

The machine describes each product and its effects. It also suggests other products a user might like. After the customer pays with a debit card or Apple Pay, the machine's robotic arm grabs the selected product.

While the machines are currently located inside the Los Angeles dispensaries, the company aims to have the kiosks be stand-alone. It would read a customer's identification and utilize facial recognition technology to verify age, Johnson said.

Jay Handal, who manages Erba Collective, said machines like this make his business flourish. 

"We only have nine parking spaces and we do 700 people a day," Handal said.

The company says the touch screen kiosk is designed to vend multiple items during one transaction and streamline the purchase experience, cutting a 30 minute wait down to nearly two minutes.

Johnson says automation has transformed many aspects of life and aims to do the same for the cannbis industry. 

"Whether it’s placing a Starbucks mobile order, using driving assistance or using a voice command, consumers expect a fast, seamless and personalized experience," he said.