Buy Marijuana on Your Smartphone With ZaZZZ

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — What started as a technology company called Tranzbyte (ERBB) fifteen years ago has morphed to include a cannabis ancillary business called Altitude Organix that's unveiling an automated medical marijuana dispensing machine called ZaZZZ.

"Tranzbyte is first and foremost a technology company but as the climate changed around cannabis legalization in the U.S. we recognized an opportunity in the legal marijuana market," said Stephen Shearin, COO with Tranzbyte. "The ZaZZZ machine with its ZaZZZ product line is a great example of this."

Much like a bank ATM, Altitude Organix developed the ZaZZZ machine to operate with the swipe of a card, which will verify identity, age and prescription information of a medical marijuana patient before releasing measured packages of marijuana.

"The upside is you won't have to be waited on by an assistant if you don't require consultation and the location is busy," Shearin told MainStreet. "The machine is capable of holding 15 pounds of marijuana. So, dispensing cannabis products in prepackaged amounts according to legal requirements in each municipality will not be an issue."

Automated marijuana dispensing machines are not a new concept. Tranzbyte's competition is MedBox (MDBX), but that doesn't dampen the enthusiasm of Fred Fuld, creator of the Marijuana Stock Index.

"If legal medical marijuana continues to spread throughout the United States, there may be plenty of business to go around for the medical pot vending machine marketers and operators," Fuld told MainStreet. "These machines may become as common as cigarette vending machines used to be."

Tranzbyte expects to unveil the first ZaZZZ machine at their Arizona headquarters towards the end of the month. "We have partner dispensaries lined up that will test and then install the machine in select locations where medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, Arizona eventually California and beyond."

Tranzbyte's business model is not to sell the ZaZZZ machine but rather to lease it to dispensaries for well under $100 per month.

"The leasing price will be mitigated by location and won't be cost prohibitive," Shearin said. "It's not meant to be another expense or chore for dispensaries. It's about increasing convenience for dispensaries and their clients and expanding the ZaZZZ network."

Blüm dispensary co-owner Derek Peterson in Oakland expects the downsides to automation will be the lack of individual care that bud tenders at dispensaries can currently provide and accuracy of verification.

"As of right now, it would be difficult but not impossible to confidently verify identification through an automated dispenser," Peterson told MainStreet. "It will require doctors and the dispensaries to better communicate with each other through technology. Once marijuana is fully legal this may be easier to do since the only information to verify would be age."

But Shearin contends that the ZaZZZ machine's verification software is already up to speed.

"Marijuana transactions have to be tracked and in most cases updated with the state in real-time," Shearin said. "The ZaZZZ machine is capable of that. One advantage is you won't have to be waited on by an assistant if you don't require consultation and the location is busy." In addition, the ZaZZZ machine is ready and able to talk to other machines when and if necessary as the tech market expands and consumers demand it.

"We are in the initial stages of smart phone integration so that users can manage their accounts and prepare their cannabis purchases from the ZaZZZ machine in advance," Shearin concluded.

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

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