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CO’s Cannabis Vending Machines, RI’s ‘Kickback’ Ban, & WA’s Cannabis-Workplace Protections

Cesar Gallegos

by Cesar Gallegos

March 3, 2023 08:30 am ET Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes

A Colorado company unveiled a cannabis vending machine, Rhode Island lawmakers proposed a ban on cannabis use during group gatherings, and Washington is looking to protect cannabis users from pre-employment drug testing.

Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews.

Cannabis Vending Machine Debuts in Colorado

Colorado has once again made cannabis history. Boulder-based cannabis company Terrapin has just unveiled the newest advancement in cannabis tech — a vending machine. The machine, dubbed the Automated Cannabis Experience (ACE), is the first fully-automated cannabis vending kiosk on the market!

The machine — located in Aurora, just outside of Denver — has the capacity to hold up to 1,152 products. Customers will need to have their ID cards scanned and verified by ACE.

Terrapin CEO Chris Woods boasted about the machine’s advantages over traditional dispensary shopping saying, “ACE not only improves sales but also provides unique benefits to consumers, including faster checkouts, expanded education, and the ability to engage in multiple languages. “

Coloradans, do you have any plans to check out this new vending machine? Do you think this is the beginning of the cannabis vending machine revolution? Let us know in the comments!

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Rhode Island Lawmakers Want to Ban Cannabis Gatherings

A group of Rhode Island legislators recently introduced a very interesting cannabis bill. If passed, S-125 would make it illegal to have cannabis and a number of other hallucinogenic substances present in group gatherings of 3 or more people. Individuals caught breaking the statute are subject to incremental fines of $500, $750, and $1,000 for all subsequent offenses.

Even if the bill passes, however, there is no indication of how it will actually work. Local hemp grower Lovewell Farms pointed out that S-125 directly contradicts the 2022 Rhode Island Cannabis Act, which protects residents from being prosecuted for personal cannabis use. Further, Lovewell Farms said — referencing a 2014 ACLU report — S-125 would make it easier for law enforcement to target black and brown folks already hurt by the War on drugs.

What do you think of Rhode Island’s proposed cannabis law? Do you think activists will be able to stop it in its tracks? Let us know in the comments!

Washington State Looks to Strengthen Cannabis Users’ Workplace Protections

Washington state is bolstering its employee protections with a new bill passed in the Senate earlier this week. SB 5123 would make it illegal for most employers in the state to test their job applicants for cannabis.

It is important to know that the bill would not make it illegal for employers to ask their employees to refrain from off-duty cannabis use. Further, employers would still have the power to run pre-employment drug screenings for other substances like cocaine.

Federal and airline employers would not be affected by this bill as those roles are considered “safety-sensitive positions for which impairment while working presents a substantial risk of death.”

SB 5123 is not the first cannabis employee protection bill Washington has tried to pass. However, none of these bills ever made it past the floor of either chamber. SB 5123 is now headed to the state house. Check in with Veriheal to stay up-to-date on the bill’s status.

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