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Federal Regulation Facilitates Bitcoin Adoption

Credit and debit card payments are excluded in the sale of marijuana, and [banks often refuse service]( to businesses in the industry. [American Green]( has addressed this problem with ZaZZZ – the cannabis vending machine that accepts Bitcoin.

american quote 1

“By facilitating customers’ credit card payments, the institution would be aiding and abetting the distribution of marijuana. And by knowingly accepting deposits consisting of revenue from the sale of marijuana, the institution may be acting as an accessory after the fact.” – Julie Andersen Hill Associate Professor of Law, University of Alabama School of Law

The latest version of ZaZZZ is now in operation at cannabis dispensaries in Seattle. The former iteration offered a selection of edible options, but the newest edition adds access to fresh marijuana buds held in a temperature-controlled environment.

ZaZZZ is putting more power in the hands of the consumer, providing a quick and easy alternative to waiting in line to use a traditional cash register. Greg Patrick, a spokesperson for American Green, highlights this, “Once you swipe your ID, you can go shopping on the screen.”

“You can be in and out — literally — in a matter of minutes.”
— – Greg Patrick, American Green

A Bitcoin wallet is a good alternative to carrying large amounts of cash, sometimes needed for high value purchases. ZaZZZ features a touchscreen where buyers can make orders, play video games, and read medical information about the products. Inserting a medical marijuana ID or driver’s license brings up the product menu. After a selection is made those wishing to use cryptocurrency select the Bitcoin option, prompting a QR code to appear on the screen. One quick smartphone scan and the process is complete.

According to the American Green site, the machine, “Facilitates fully unattended purchases inside a dispensary or other regulated cannabis establishment.” The technology behind the unattended machine is based on patents by Robert Tomassi.

Tomassi’s patents detail, “a biometric verification system for authorizing the sales of regulated products.” Whereby a systems processor in the vending machine compares the biometric characteristic data on the identification card with the biometric characteristic data just gathered.

“Our software easily tracks all purchases for government mandated inventory control.”
— – American Green

By regulating card payments, the Fed may have inadvertently positioned Bitcoin to become a core component in a new growth industry. With American Green reporting Business has been on the rise, doubling every month in the last quarter of 2014, increasing adoption of cannabis in the US could allow ZaZZZ, and Bitcoin, to flourish. One-third of states now have laws supporting medical marijuana, and public support for it continues to grow.

“It’s historic, there’s just no other way to state it. We saw the repeal of [alcohol] prohibition in the early 20th century and the mark that made on our country and the companies that did it right. We’re in that stage.”
— – Greg Patrick, American Green

American Green president Stephen Shearin prides the innovation, stating, “With advancements in technology resulting from ongoing use […], the application of the patents, and integration with existing inventory control companies, we are excited to offer cutting edge technology to service dispensaries and customers alike."

Options are already underway for businesses looking to join the ZaZZZ vending network. A remote-access API is in development, aiming to provide a unified interface for sales services provided by future partners. Rhode Island is soon to be the first state on the east coast to receive a ZaZZZ.


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