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California startup plans to add facial recognition to marijuana dispensary kiosks

California startup greenbox Robotics has launched a self-service retail device it calls the world’s first intelligent kiosk for dispensing cannabis and CBD products, Fox reports. In the future, greenbox Robotics CEO Zach Johnson says he plans to integrate ID document reading and facial recognition technologies to identify customers and verify that they are of legal age to purchase the regulated substances.

The kiosks are intended to serve customers faster than they can get through the often-lengthy lineups at dispensaries, and at the moment are deployed to Erba Collective and Marina Caregivers retail locations in Los Angeles. The touch screen kiosk describes products, recommends similar ones, and can cut a 30-minute wait down almost to two minutes, according to greenbox.

Customers pay with a debit card or Apple Pay, and a robotic arm delivers the product to the customer.

Erba Collective Manager Jay Handal said the increased efficiency of the process benefits his business. “We only have nine parking spaces and we do 700 people a day,” Handal says.

The North American market for such innovations is just getting started, with American Green recently selecting Dispension Industries Incorporated as its biometric automated dispensary partner for the Canadian market. The rollout of anonymous biometric systems leveraging Integrated Biometrics fingerprint sensors in Uruguay for marijuana dispensing was completed in 2017.

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