Kiosks require finger scan to release prescription

April 15, 2011

The first medical marijuana kiosks are expected to roll out in medical marijuana dispensaries starting in April.

The first medical marijuana kiosks are expected to roll out in medical marijuana dispensaries starting in April.

Cannabis Medical Solutions, Miami, Fla., which specializes in merchant payment systems for methadone and marijuana clinics, has partnered with an unnamed medical self-service kiosk manufacturer to develop the new biometrics kiosks.

Patients in the 16 states that allow the sale of medical marijuana will soon be able to register, order, and pay for medical marijuana using the biometrics terminals. When medical marijuana patients register with the kiosk, they show clinic staff valid forms of identification and their medical marijuana prescription, and receive a finger scan. On subsequent visits, patients are identified at the kiosk by finger scan and then can choose the strain of marijuana that is needed for their prescriptions. All marijuana is kept in a sealed case. After patients pay by debit or credit card at the kiosk, staff dispenses the medication from behind a counter.

"It is a live database. If there is a copy of the script or a fraud being committed, staff would see that the script was filled at another location, because of the finger scan," Friedman said. Also, employees and other parties will not be able to steal marijuana or money from the machines. "It is all done via the machine, and the credit-card processing is sent directly to the corporate bank account," Friedman said.

The current system at most medical marijuana dispensaries is not as safe and sanitary as at the kiosks, Friedman said. Most are cash-based systems with multiple medical strains that are stored in glass jars. "If you take money out of an ATM, there is a lot of cause for theft and crime. [The biometrics terminals stop] all these medical strains from being out there and handled," Friedman said.

Cannabis Medical Solutions will be conducting beta tests this month and next at dispensaries in California, Colorado, and Montana. Friedman expects the new technology to take off fairly quickly. "There are 700 dispensaries in Colorado alone," Friedman said.