March 10 2011 12:00 AM

Two new cannabis collectives are trying out the MedBox

Two new medical-cannabis collectives in San Diego have installed vending machines that dispense marijuana products.

The machines, called Canna-Medboxes, were introduced in Los Angeles in 2008, but the boxes at El Cajon Medical Group and the Redwood Collective are the first in San Diego. The two dispensaries are operated by the same group of patients; the El Cajon location opened in mid-January, Redwood opened last week.

The touch-screen Medboxes are inside the collectives and do not accept cash. Instead, patients register with the collective and are issued a card that they can top up with credit. The machine also reads fingerprints, which collective manager "Saul Good" says helps cut down on fraudulent patients and attempts by under-agers to score weed.

"It also makes things very discreet," Good says. "When you go into traditional dispensaries, there's jars of stuff everywhere and you still have to buy the weed through a transaction that feels similar to the street."

The refrigerated machines offer both buds and edibles.


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