While Australia’s medical cannabis industry is still budding along in its infant years, cannabis-loving Czech’s have already started innovating – rolling out a series of CBD vending machines across the Czech Republic.
Citizens in the cities of Prague, Cheb, Olomouc, Pasohlávky and Ostrava were in for a shock this week, as a series of CBD vending machines are being trialled on city streets. Named ‘CBD Mats’, the vending machines are accessible to locals and tourists alike.
Taking both cash and card, the machines sell CBD oil, drops, hemp disinfectants and cannabis flower buds – but with high expectations comes disappointment. While the Czech Republic’s illegal cannabis supply generally contains between 10 – 15% THC, CBD Mats will only sell CBD-dominant strains of cannabis.
As per Czech law, all products will contain less than 0.03% THC. While the product may resemble its illegal sibling, it has no psychoactive properties and can’t get you high. According to CBD Mat’s CEO René Sirý, the vending machines product range is also not designed for smoking.
We just want to sell CBD products that can be beneficial. In the future, vending machines with cannabis products could be used in fitness rooms, hotels, or at airports.
While medical cannabis has been legal in the Czech Republic since 2013, its use is only permitted for certain conditions. That includes chronic pain, Tourette’s syndrome and spasticity. Citizens with these conditions can consume up to 180 grams of dry cannabis per month.
The Czech Republic isn’t the first country to adopt a hands-off approach to selling hash. Vending machines have already been installed in Poland, Austria and America – making on-demand cannabis as unexciting as a cola.
Over in Vancouver, the government went in a different direction. While coin-operated cannabis might be on the horizon, registered patients have been filling cannabis prescriptions via a vending machine since December 2019. The ‘MySafe’ machines have been installed in Vancouver and British Columbia, in hopes to reduce the number of deaths caused by opioids with a safer alternative.
However, innovations in CBD vending machines may be a long way off for Australian patients. While we might see CBD oil on pharmacy shelves in early 2021, pot-for-penny machines require a level of de-stigmatization Australia hasn’t yet embraced.