The governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, has promoted the state’s first-ever marijuana vending machine that can package, label, and dispense cannabis products to adult consumers. The Automated Cannabis Experience (ACE) is now operational at Terrapin Care Station’s retailer in Aurora. Transactions take just 50 seconds to complete, and the machine requires proof of ID and age to be granted entry, as highlighted by Governor Polis in a recent tweet. Terrapin claims that the machine “provides a ‘triple check’ to ensure only those eligible to purchase cannabis are doing so.”
The machine is equipped with multiple languages and allows for easy access to consumers who know exactly what they want to purchase while allowing staff to take more time to support shoppers seeking deeper consultation. However, some concerns have been raised that automating the retail experience could ultimately lead to fewer jobs for humans.
While the marijuana vending machines are new to Colorado, other state cannabis markets, including California, have adopted similar technology. Governor Polis has been an active supporter of the state’s marijuana industry, having issued pardons for prior cannabis convictions and advocating for federal reform to allow licensed marijuana businesses to access basic financial services. The governor has also taken steps to promote energy efficiency in the cannabis sector and ensure social equity in the industry is prioritized as it continues to grow and diversify.
Last year, Polis signed an executive order to provide broad professional licensing protections for workers who use marijuana in compliance with state law. He also recently named members of a Natural Medicine Advisory Board that will help inform psychedelics policy after voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize entheogens and establish psilocybin “healing centers” last year. Governor Polis welcomed the approval of the psychedelics ballot measure, calling psychedelics a “promising” treatment option for certain mental health conditions.