Image via autospense.com
Los Angeles, CA (KTLA) -- A local company is aiming to make dispensing medical marijuana as simple as using an ATM.
Dispense Labs, based in Aliso Viejo, has unveiled a dispensing system called "Autospense" that looks a lot like a vending machine.
But the company's founder, Joe DeRobbio, says the Autospense is much more sophisticated than that.
Patients must swipe a registration card and then enter a PIN number. They can then pay by cash, credit or debit, and a door opens to deliver the product.
Patients who are registered with a dispensary would be able to access the system 24 hours a day.
When the dispensary is closed, the Autospense is surrounded by a cage that must be opened by swiping a registration card.
Features like fingerprint recognition, security cameras and purchase tracking provide additional security.
DeRobbio says the company plans to lease the machines to dispensaries for $1,500-$2,000 a month.
Currently, only one machine is in operation, at a dispensary in Santa Ana.
Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, but it remains illegal under federal laws.