San Diego to consider pot vending machines

SAN DIEGO – As city leaders prepare to discuss medical marijuana during their next meeting, one California business said it has the solution.

San Diego City Council will be talking medical marijuana during their March 25 meeting after Mayor Bob Filner requested they discuss the issue in light of legal confusion surrounding the issue.

City leaders talk medical marijuana “We have to get a law in place so that all of this is regularized and that people know what the expectations are and what the rules are,” Filner said.

Dr. Bruce Bedrick said his Med-Box might be the remedy San Diego could use.

The Med-Box is a computerized, biometrically controlled dispensing system that resembles a high-tech vending machine.

“Our technology is not a vending machine that is sitting out on the street corner,” Med-Box CEO Dr. Bruce Bedrick said. “These are 800-pound, armor coated machines that are sitting in dispensaries.”

Patients bring their prescriptions and their ID to the dispensaries, where they are given another card, Bedrick said.

On future visits they swipe the card and scan their finger print, a staff member pushes a button and the marijuana is dispensed.

“In our case, there’s no free-wheeling marijuana around. There’s no marijuana in big glass jars that’s unaccounted for,” Bedrick said.

“This type of technology really helps regulate the industry,” Bedrick added. “The software and the way the system is set up can limit the actual dispensing to patients.”

The idea is getting mixed reviews in communities like Ocean Beach.

“I think it’s a good cause, but bad idea,” said Mike Depolo, who works in the area.

“Everything else has vending machines, it’s just medicine so, I support it,” Mia Buckland said during her lunch break.

It appears city leaders aren’t sold on the idea.

“[Vending machines] will not be part of any ordinance. There will be no vending machines of medical marijuana in San Diego,” he said.

“[We need] more access, but more restrictions,” Filner said. “[The ordinance] will be based on compassionate distribution to people who have doctor’s prescriptions.”


10 Comments to “San Diego to consider pot vending machines”

    robert said:
    March 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    i have used these vending machines before. they are extremly sensitive. you have to pay the dispencerie then they put that money on a mds card. your fingerprint is used as a pin so noone else can get meds off your card. they are built better and more secure than an atm. this would be the best way to disperse marijuana. and like it says its not on the street corner its still in a brick and mortor building with security and staff.theres no chance of a thief taking the machine or accessing its products. but its bad for the patient cause the weights and items are dead on.

    Regina Nelson said:
    March 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Personally if I am in a brick and mortar building with people hoping to service my needs as a customer I see no need for this machine…seems like a prohibitionist mentality to some point…instead I think patients should be promoting Cannabis Health Centers–"dispensaries" that focus on meeting the patients needs…you get a pharmacist to dispense all your other medical prescriptions, I want a "canna pharmacist' to dispense my cannabis…am I off on this one??

    Scot Candell said:
    March 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    While the idea of a marijuana vending machine is good, it will not be accepted by consumers in the near future. Marijuana has yet to become standardized. It is not like a botle of tylanol, each of which is identical and expires at a certain date. Every "Blue Dream" or "Purple Kush" is unique. A patient must be able to see and smell the medicine he/she is buying. You wouldn't sell roses from a vending machine because nobody will buy them for fear they will by low quality roses. The same will be true for marijuana. Investors beware

    Thelema said:
    March 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I feel that the article name is misleading. It says San Diego is considering pot vending machines, yet the article itself says:

    "There will be no vending machines of medical marijuana in San Diego,” [the mayor] said.

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