The city of San Diego will be discussing whether to install pot vending machines throughout the city at their next city council meeting according to March 8 on Fox 5 San Diego.
The city leaders reveal that medical marijuana is only one topic on their list at this months meeting on March 25, and an option of pot vending machines are just one idea that some of the California business members have as a way to aid in profiting the city, and helping those who legally use medical marijuana to get their medication.
Mayor Bob Filner requested the council discuss the issue in light of legal confusion surrounding the issues of the pot vending machines.
“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 described as 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.”
How it will work:
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.
“[We need] more access, but more restrictions,” Filner said. “[The ordinance] will be based on compassionate distribution to people who have doctor’s prescriptions.”
The San Diego City Council will consider an ordinance that would issue permits for dispensaries. Medbox has already started taking deposits for the machines, which costs about $50,000.
Medbox CEO Bruce Bedrick said the company has opened 150 dispensaries throughout the United States and Canada in the past four years and that his pot vending machines have remained crime-free.
“It’s armor-coated. Second, it’s 800 pounds,” he said.But others today are not so sure, believing that s with everything else that is considered controlled, where there is a will there will be a way for users without a medical marijuana card to gain access to the drugs, whether it be having someone purchase the prescription pot for them, or finding a clever way to break into the machines.
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