COVID-19 Ushering in Automated Future for Retail Pot

The future of marijuana retail could mean more automation and shorter wait times as Colorado marijuana retailers change their business models during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Green Solution, one of the state’s largest dispensary chains, has installed self-service kiosks in all 21 lobbies of its retail stores. Meanwhile, Boston-based Anna offers self-service marijuana purchasing lockers that operate similar to vending machines, which are currently available in stores owned by Starbuds and Strawberry Fields dispensaries.

The need to fulfill fast, self-service marijuana sales was actually being developed before the pandemic, but the minimal-contact vending machines and self-serve kiosks are becoming more popular in Colorado dispensaries as the pandemic continues. Both options limit the amount of time spent by customers in the dispensary, minimize person-to-person contact and allow for faster customer turnover rates.

“We have clients who have really enjoyed the convenience and feel like it’s created a level of safety for them,” says the Green Solution CEO Steve Lopez, adding the he plans to keep kiosks in the Green Solution locations after the pandemic, for buyer convenience. [Read more at Westword]

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