Swipe a card, enter a PIN and place a finger on the scanner and visitors to the Herbal Nutrition Center in Los Angeles can buy a small package of medicinal marijuana.
Individuals must have a doctor’s note in order to qualify for the purchase. After that they are given a pre-paid magnetic stripe card, choose a PIN and enroll a fingerprint to make purchases for the machine.
Vincent Mehdizadeh, a 29-year-old lawyer, invented the vending machine for the center, which he owns as well. Any user approved for medical marijuana and registered in a database at his dispensaries can pre-purchase the drug and then use the machine to pick up. There are three machines operating in the LA area.
Customers are limited to an ounce per week. Each purchase from the machine yields 1/8th or 1/4th of an ounce. The drugs are cheaper because it eliminates interaction with a clerk. The 1/8th ounce packet costs about $40, which is $20 lower than the average price at other dispensaries.
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