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Pot pioneer buys the maker of its age-verifying kiosks

Pot pioneer buys the maker of its age-verifying kiosks

A U.S. cannabis supplier is buying the vendor who makes biometrics-enabled vending machines.

American Green executives say they have signed a binding letter of intent to buy VendWeb, which makes vending machines with facial recognition and age verification components.

A signed deal is expected in the next couple weeks, according to release published by American Green.

The combination runs counter to a generation of business orthodoxy that advises creating flexible partnerships rather than buying a piece of the supply chain. That is particularly true here, where an ostensible crop grower plans to buy a means of distribution.

American Green, which has written its own algorithms for VendWeb machines, has worked with VendWeb for five years. That code was integrated with custom face biometrics software from Jumio.

A video demonstrating the vending machine’s operation clearly depicts the use of long-time American Green partner M2sys‘ vein biometrics scanning for identity verification, and presentation attack detection by iProov, which partnered with Jumio’s KYX platform last year.

(The company’s web site has a live feed from its growing floors where you can literally watch the grass grow.)

In February, the company said second quarter revenue reached $515,000, 20 percent higher than the preceding quarter. Executives expect second quarter of 2022 (ending December 31) revenue, to jump to $800,000.

Vending machines have been more popular outside the United States, particularly in Japan, where alcohol and cigarettes are sold from machines sometimes along with strawberry milk and other non-adult fare.

These distribution points are slowly being updated with age-verification components.

In the United States, vending machines are almost exclusively used to sell snacks, soft drinks, candy, gum and cigarettes. The country, which has never fully evolved from its puritanical roots, could leap over other nations, going straight to adult fare sold in machines with facial recognition systems for identity and age verification.

Assuming American Green closes the deal, executives sound like they are preparing to invest in age-verification vending machines, perhaps separate from its current focal point — pot.

There might be more for American Green executives to worry about than feeling burned out. Privacy should be as much of a concern with vending machines and the cannabis business as with most other businesses.

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