Cannabis Vending Machines Coming To Massachusetts

A new kind of vending machine is coming to Massachusetts — a self-checkout kiosk for cannabis dispensaries.

Boston-based anna, which also has a presence in Colorado, announced this week that it would deploy its self-checkout products in two Colorado dispensaries this week. The company is expected to launch in Massachusetts in September, deploying 14 units across the two states within the next eight weeks.

According to a demo on the company’s website, local agents are tasked with verifying customer’s ages through their driver’s licenses, and approving payment before orders can be processed.

“It’s about getting customers through faster with less contact,” CEO Matt Frost said.

According to the company, the service allows dispensaries and CBD retailers to service additional customers while adhering to today’s social distancing guidelines. While anna has been in development for nearly three years, Frost said the importance of social distancing regulations has increased the need for the company’s product.

The interior of anna’s units can be configured to accommodate products of all sizes, and its capacity exceeds 2,000 products in a footprint just under 8 square feet.

The service is likely to be attractive to Massachusetts dispensaries, which topped $785 million in total sales since recreational cannabis sales began in November 2018 — $320 million in this year alone. In particular, the automation could undermine a wave of unionization efforts under way at dispensaries throughout the state.