Canada's first medicinal marijuana vending machine opens in Vancouver

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      The B.C. Pain Society is calling its marijuana vending machine a first for Canada.

      “The idea mainly came from what’s happening in the U.S., as well as safe, secure access to the product,” said the dispensary’s director, Chuck Varabioff.

      In a telephone interview, he described the machine as more than a gimmick, noting that distributing the product this way minimizes the number of hands that touch it.

      “When it’s packaged and put into a vending machine, it’s only handled once,” Varabioff explained. “It’s put into a bag, we zip-seal it, heat seal the bag, and then it’s tamper proof and it retains its freshness.”

      The marijuana vending machine is located at 2908 Commercial Drive.

      According to Varabioff, the bags inside are currently selling for $20 for an eighth up to $50 for a half-ounce of “Master Kush”.

      “And then we have stuff from $4 a gram in our gumball machine,” he added.

      Yes, Canada now also sells pot via a gumball machine.

      Access to both devices is restricted to B.C. Pain Society members.

      “It’s completely gated off,” Varabioff said. “When you walk in, our staff and volunteers will verify your ID card, and only if you’re a member will you have access to the machine.”

      The B.C. Pain Society has published a video on YouTube demonstrating how it all works.

      For those wondering how a pot vending machine is allowed, note that Vancouver’s marijuana dispensaries currently operate in something of a legal grey area.

      Federal regulation changes that took effect on April 1 forbid the sale of medicinal marijuana via dispensaries like the B.C. Pain Society. According to the Conservative’s new Marihuana for Medicinal Purposes Regulation, cannabis can only be obtained via a mail-order from a small number of large-scale suppliers. (The implementation of certain provisions of the MMPR have since been delayed by a court challenge.)

      However, civic politicians as well as the Vancouver Police Department haven’t bothered to hide their lack of enthusiasm for the new rules. Marijuana grown for personal use and medicinal dispensaries that behave themselves do not appear on the VPD’s list of drug unit priorities.


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      May 7, 2014 at 7:51pm

      The mayor has a duty to enforce the law for the government of the city. He sits on the police board. There is no discretion allowable for police to simply ignore large criminal enterprises---it is unfair to those who play by the rules, who don't make millions selling dope.


      May 7, 2014 at 8:54pm

      This Is Revolutionary!!! $50 for 1/2 ounce of MK - cheaper than the streets! i need to get a prescription for my uhh... sleeping disorder.

      cranky mom

      May 8, 2014 at 3:12pm

      can we get one of these in the office?


      May 8, 2014 at 3:23pm

      Once he's finished rehab, Rob wants one installed at city hall in Toronto.


      May 8, 2014 at 8:51pm

      The drug war is a failure, Tax the product and make a profit, while putting the 'Drug Cartels' out of business!
      That's fixing the drug issue!


      May 8, 2014 at 11:01pm

      Great idea, but in the mean time, should we let profiteers sell grams for $10 and buy jet-skis, etc?


      May 9, 2014 at 9:12am

      Jet-skis? Marijuana gumball machines? I feel like I'm in some alternate Jetsons universe.

      pumped citizen

      May 9, 2014 at 9:22am

      I need a green card for uhhhhhhhhhhhh my joint pain? Lol


      May 9, 2014 at 1:29pm

      This is a great idea. They should just sell pot in places that already sell alcohol.


      May 10, 2014 at 1:49pm

      I love this and yes cheaper than the streets prices. Legalize pot and un clog the courts from bs. Then they can tax it, and regulate it!